Concern that parking situation at Lisfannon beach is an ‘accident waiting to happen’

The parking situation at Lisfannon beach has been described as ‘an accident waiting to happen,’ with fears a ‘child will run out sooner rather than later’ and be killed.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 3:08 pm
Cars parked along the main road at Lisfannon beach, on Saturday afternoon last, as people flocked to beaches during the mini – heatwave. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2128GS – 046

Donegal County Councillor and Inishowen Cathaoirleach Bernard McGuinness expressed his fears at the recent Inishowen Municipal District meeting, at which it was confirmed a funding application for climate mitigation measures at the location was rejected.

The car park and access road at the beach, which is popular with people from both Inishowen and Derry, was closed last year due to erosion.

It has been particularly busy over the last week as the area basks in good weather.

Over one million euro was allocated to Donegal recently for climate mitigation measures, of which just over 60,000 was given to Inishowen - for works at Drung and Newtowncunningham. The council submitted 12 funding applications for the peninsula, of which a car park for Lisfannon was one.

Colr. McGuinness said it was ‘mind boggling’ that Lisfannon was not granted, particularly as those visiting the beach have to park along the hard shoulder on the busy Derry to Buncrana road.

“That road is 100km speed limit and the department rejected that proposal. I’m very concerned.”

Colr. McGuinness expressed concern that Inishowen was allocated such a small portion of the one million euro.

“If they decided Lisfannon wasn’t necessary, you’d have to question how they decided the others were?” he said.

Seamus Hopkins, Area Roads Manager said Lisfannon is ‘a case study on the impact of climate change on our road network.’

“We’ve lost a road there that’s beyond saving at this stage due to the amount of damage that happens on an annual basis through the action of the sea.”

Mr Hopkins said the proposal was that the road would be sacrificed with a managed retreat from sea level rise and a car park be put in place. Mr Hopkins confirmed the council intends to construct a temporary ‘rough and ready’ car park so beach goers won’t have to park on the hard shoulder this summer. The rejection of the funding application is being appealed.

Colr. McGuinness said it was ‘scandalous’ that only two out of 12 submissions were granted and described Lisfannon as an ‘accident waiting to happen.’

He said: “Some child will run out sooner rather than later and be killed. The way of preventing that from happening is stopping it before it happens and to think the department thought that wasn’t necessary is mind boggling.”