The proposal to ban horses and ponies from Mayo beaches between 12 noon and 6pm daily needs to be rejected and completely  taken off the table - that's the view of West Mayo Councillor Christy Hyland.

The Independent councillor raised the matter at the recent monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District.

Mayo County Council’s Special Policy Committee on the Environment is proposing banning dogs, horses and ponies from Mayo beaches daily between noon and 6pm, in an effort to improve water quality and secure additional Blue Flags for our shorelines.

In West Mayo, there is a concerted effort underway to regain Blue Flag status for Old Head,  Carrowmore and Clare Island beaches.

However, Councillor Hyland says the matter should not even be discussed until there is proof on the table that the treatment plants at both Old Head and Carrowmore are 100% efficient, as he believes they may be contributing more to any deterioration in water quality than horses or ponies trekking along the beaches.

In addition he argues that “beach rangers”, who would encourage people to act responsibly at beaches, would be more effective in preventing pollution.

Councillor Hyland has been outlining his concerns about the proposal to Midwest News....

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