One of my favorite places in the world is Balbriggan Beach, I love to walk from the Martello Tower at the Back Beach to the Sailors Grave near Cromwells Harbour or on some occasions the whole way to Filgates.
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful coastline and it really is something we should utilise as an amenity and tourest attraction. The recent long awaited replacement of the lighthouse dome should just be the beginning. With Bremore castle coming to completion and plans for a park and recreation area afoot we should make sure all the stakeholders and communities are working together with all the agencies and bodies to develop and rejuvenate the whole area to its full potential. A wonderful social space for all to enjoy and to attract visitors and tourists.
Here are 10 things I want to see happen and when elected to Fingal County Council:
1) Black Rock Pier, Diving Board Replaced
The Diving Board as it was locally known was a great favourite for balbriggan people but was controversially removed by the Council in 1997. I want to see this pier reinstated, two similar swimming areas were redesigned and fitted out to be safer for users in Skerries and this must happen in Balbriggan too.
2) Boat House & Martello Tower Rejuvenated
Wouldn't it be great to see these building brought back to their former glory. Cafe, Maritime Museum or something useful. Controversial plans to build a large nursing home near hear could be eased if money from levies were ringfenced to aid a project to rejuvenate these fine buildings.
3) Railway Station Walls, decorated or suitably enhanced
The walls along the railway station are all bits and pieces and no uniformity and would be greatly enhanced if even painted or cladding used to enhance them. Or a wall art feature would be a lovely way to enhance the area.
4) Grass Bank landscaped
The same banks below the railway are forever overgrown and every year
the failure to agree whose responsibility to maintain the steep grass bank between the railway line and the beach in Balbriggan, and prone to rodent infestation. An ongoing "whose turn is it" although the land is owned by Iarnród Eireann, Fingal County Council sometimes maintain it.
This whole area needs to be landscaped and the banks issue needs to be resolved permanently. I wrote a blog during the summer suggesting Marram grass could be used on the banks as an alternative and native species that would need low maintenance. could-marram-grass-help-transform-balbriggan-beach-banks
5) Transform underneath the viaduct with ambient lighting and Pedestrian Lighting on walkways
The Viaduct at the Harbour is a splendid piece of architecture and can look wonderful in the summer sunshine. However on dark winter nights can be a poor experience for commuters coming home in the evening from school and work. The pathways would be greatly enhanced if they were properly lit up.
Wouldn't the viaduct also benefit from some ambient lighting underneath the great arches?
6) Old Boats and Wrecks Removed From Harbour
This image is from a major clean up of the harbour 10 years ago. This needs to be done again and unsightly wrecks need to be removed. The harbour dredged walls and paths fixed up and roads resurfaced.
7) Buildings painted and brightened up
This picture from the seventies shows how quaint and beautiful the harbour area once looked. This could be achieved again with a lick of paint.
8) Beaches Regularly Cleaned and combed for waste.
With regular cleaning and combing the beach for waste could protect the area and keep it safe for visitors. Reports recently of syringes being found on the beach are very disconcerting.
9) Security Patrols and CCTV
The whole area would greatly benefit from CCTV and regular patrols by the Gardai. Anti Social behaviour on the beach is increasingly becoming a real problem, Every beach user should feel welcome and be able to enjoy the space.
10) Landscaping and playgrounds
Plans for playgrounds need to be fast tracked, two locations have been identified and are now out to tender. The best locations I believe are the old bandstand area and the park in front of viaduct near the ice cream parlour. On the beach the grassy area from the viaduct to the old factory site needs to be landscaped with new paths and old paths must be cleared of sand and made suitable for wheelchair users. Picnic areas need to be installed and a proper waste management system installed and enforced.