Evidence of bonfires and litter at local beauty spot.

MD to seek meeting with gardaí about Rann Point

Problems with littering and anti-social behaviour at Lough Oughtar were raised once again at the Cavan Belturbet Municipal District meeting as members discussed the prospect of introducing by laws to police the area.

Clough Oughter Castle is one of the iconic landmarks of County Cavan but, over the summer, the behaviour of a minority of users of the facilities at Rann Point was raised by the members of the local authority with a view to finding a long-term solution to the problem.

It was suggested that, during the fine weather, the beauty spot to the north east of Killeshandra Town was inundated by revellers, some of whom showed scant regard for the area leaving litter and broken bottles and lighting open fires - all presenting a hazard for other users.

The regulation of the activity in the area by means of by laws and policing were recommended by councillors to address the problems. Leading the call was Fianna Fáil's Sean Smith who initially raised the concerns that constituents have brought to his attention. Other members said an area of private property was being encroached on and asked if these could also be covered by the introduction of by laws.

The local authority has worked on providing facilities at Rann Point. Director of Services with Cavan County Council, Brendan Jennings, said it is not simply a matter of introducting by laws, but to first ensure that this is the most appropriate action.

Mr Jennings said Cavan County Council would look at how other local authorities have addressed similar issues.

The Director of Service said the local authority does not want to stop people using the facilities at Rann Point, only to address any issues of anti social behaviour.

“A key point is the consumption of alcohol,” Mr Jennings said. “If we can control that, it would address many of the issues that arise.”

Cllr Peter McVitty accepted there was no “simple solution” but asked who would police the by laws if they were introduced.

Cllrs Brendan Fay said preventing over night camping would be a way of “breaking the cycle”.

Cllr Patricia Walsh said it was an issue that needed a solution.

Clr McVitty suggested that the MD invite the Gardaí to discuss the matter and come up with measures to be put in place to address the matter.

Cllr John Paul Feeley said the executive should conduct a scoping exercise to determine measures available before any meeting with the Gardaí takes place.

Cllr Fay concluded by saying that the Covid lockdown probably exacerbated the issue in the last year. Members agreed to write to the Gardaí seeking a meeting.