2013: A swimmer dives from the board in Graignamanagh. Picture: Pat Moore
People availing of Kilkenny’s many wonderful bathing spots are being urged to ‘swim and go’ this summer in an effort to minimise the number of swimmers gathering and promote social distancing.
Signage is being put in place at the county’s designated swimming areas, where lifeguards will be in place, encouraging people not to linger.
As of last weekend, lifeguards are in place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of June from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and from 5pm to 7.30pm. Then, in July and August, the lifeguards will be present during these hours a full seven days a week.
There are five areas in the county where lifeguards will be active. They are Thomastown, Inistioge, and Graignamanagh, and at the Meadows and the Weir on Bleach Road in Kilkenny City.
Senior engineer with the council’s nvironment section Frank Stafford says the aim is to ensure everyone can feel safe and enjoy their swim.
“The big message is that we’re asking people to swim and go,” he said.
“You could have people or families hanging around there all day, and then other people are afraid to come oor go for a swim.”
Risk assessments have been conducted in conjunction with Kilkenny Water Safety for each site and recommendations arising out of same have been addressed.
“As with every other summer season, our lifeguard service will be in place,” says Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere.
“While we as a council, promote water safety rigorously every year, in addition this year we are asking members of the public to adhere to government guidelines in relation to hygiene etiquette and social distancing. Let’s all stay safe by following the HSE guidelines and respecting the water.”