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Letterkenny couple describe ‘day at the beach from hell’ in Rossnowlagh

Thousands of cars pack Rossnowlagh beach on Sunday. As the tide began to close in, panic striken motorists scrambled towards the exits causing large traffic jams.

Thousands of cars pack Rossnowlagh beach on Sunday. As the tide began to close in, panic striken motorists scrambled towards the exits causing large traffic jams.

BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A LETTERKENNY couple’s visit to Rossnowlagh didn’t turn out to be the wonderful day out in the sunny weather they had planned. The couple this week contacted the Donegal News following an experience which they described as an ‘absolute disgrace’.

What they encountered was a beach full of cars, rubbish lying all they way to the beach, and on it, and fights breaking out over parking spaces.

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The couple had decided to head for Rossnowlagh to walk the beach and walk around the friary, because we they hadn’t been there for years.
After being stuck in the Donegal Town route traffic and not being able to turn for 40 minutes, the couple eventually went by Smuggler’s Creek.

“We made our way to the beach, it was jam-packed and in all my years going there, even as a child, I never saw such a queue of people and cars on the beach,” the man said.

“We walked across the strand to the friary first. As we walked we heard loud music, people having barbecues and, of course, people drinking everywhere. As we made our way to the friary, you could see litter and beer bottles in the grass,” he said.
When the couple made their way back from the friary back, they saw that someone had smashed a bottle at the entrance.

“We decided to walk the water the whole way across as the tide was starting to come in. As I took off my shoes I saw someone had tossed out the contents of their greasy sausages and chips (basically untouched) onto the sand which were now floating in and out of the water, so I just grabbed an ASDA plastic bag floating beside it and sieved it in and brought it away.”

The splendour of Rossnowlagh beach was tarnished by discarded rubbish on Sunday.

The splendour of Rossnowlagh beach was tarnished by discarded rubbish on Sunday.

It wasn’t long before the couple encountered more rubbish floating in the water, including plastic bottles, nappies and much more.
“Literally, a few minutes later I stepped on a piece of glass in the sand, under the water, and as the water rolled back, we saw it was a smashed WKD Blue bottle pointing up in the sand.”

The couple decided they had had enough. As they left, they saw the remains of a disposable barbecue with coal and wire grill tipped out onto the beach, plastic bottles, glass bottles and even the empty beer-bottle box.

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“As we turn to leave, there is a bag in the water with towels and clothes all around it. The tide came in and everyone was frantically trying to leave the beach.
“As we were heading up to where the main exit is, we saw a fight break out over who was first off the beach with their car.”

“It’s an absolute disgrace, that people feel they can treat a public beach this way, with complete disregard for other beach users, throwing their rubbish and empty alcohol bottles on the beach, smashing them on the ground and tipping out the contents of there disposable barbecues where people are walking and children are playing.
“There should be plain cloth litter wardens on the beach who can issue on the spot fines – hefty on the spot fines.”

Anxious onlookers watch the drama unfold at Rossnowlagh as a full air and sea search gets underway for a missing child. Fortunately the child was found unharmed.

Anxious onlookers watch the drama unfold at Rossnowlagh as a full air and sea search gets underway for a missing child. Fortunately the child was found unharmed.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland