Dogs could be banned from Galway beaches in peak summer months if new draft bylaws are passed.
The bylaws would also ban some sports, such as volleyball and windsurfing, at the beach.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Green Party Councillor Allastair McKinstry said: “It’s been over 20 years since we’ve updated the bylaws.”
“Beaches are becoming a lot more popular, especially in summer, so we need to control things like motorboats becoming dangerous and the increasing use of kitesurfing."
One of the more controversial proposals is to ban dogs between 11am and 7pm every day from June 1st to September 15th. Dogs must be on a lead at all other times.
Horses will be banned completely from beaches.
Community wardens and Gardaí would be tasked with enforcing the new rules.
Under current laws, failing to clean up after your dog in public places can lead to a €150 “on-the-spot” fine. However, McKinstry said he hasn't heard of any fines being issued on Galway beaches.
“The enforcement becomes easier if you can say that dogs aren’t on the beaches during peak summer days … other than that it becomes difficult to have a community warden follow a dog along a beach, waiting for something to happen.”
Playing sport “in such a matter as to cause nuisance or danger” will be outlawed.
Those looking to run surfing or even yoga classes will have to acquire a permit from Galway County Council, which could cost up to €300.
“I’m concerned with our current financial crisis in the county, we don’t have the money to implement these in a reasonable manner", said McKinstry.
Lilos and inflatables would also be banned under the proposed restrictions.
McKinstry is asking the public to share their opinions on the proposed bylaws.
In May, County Kerry introduced restriction for dogs on beaches in order to comply with the new criteria for Blue Flag status.
The rules only apply to the flagged section of the beach and Kerry County Council yesterday approved a plan to create designated ‘through-ways’ owners can use to bring their dogs to unprotected areas.
On The Pat Kenny Show, Kerry Councillor Jackie Healy Rae described the rules as “nonsensical”.
He said that they won't stop irresponsible dog owners from letting their dogs foul the beach outside the designated hours and in parts of the beach that are unprotected.
“This is just busybody people handing down rules they are not elected by anybody to bring in,” he said.
“It was a case of us being told that if we didn’t adopt the rules that were being brought in, we would lose our Blue Flag beach. So, in a sense we were held over a barrel and whether we agreed with it or not."
“We obviously pride ourselves on our Blue Flag beaches and it is a case of, if you don’t do this, you will lose it.”
Main image shows dogs running on the beach in shallow water.