Concern raised over Ardglass river

Concern raised over Ardglass river

7 August 2013

AN open river which runs adjacent to the Seaview housing estate in Ardglass poses a major threat to children’s safety, a local politician has warned.

Councillor Dermot Curran is seeking a meeting with Northern Ireland Water officials to discuss piping part of the river which is also being used by some people as a dump.

Councillor Curran, who met with concerned parents and residents on Monday, hopes NI Water will agree to pipe the section of river which is close to a sports pitch and play area at the housing estate.

The river, which runs from the centre of the village and makes its way into the harbour, has steep banks at some sections and parents fear a child could fall in.

Councillor Curran said while parents would welcome the provision of a fence between the play area and river, he believes that piping the waterway is the best option and hopes NI Water will agree to this course of action.

“The location of the play area beside an open river poses a danger to those who use the facility. The water level is very low given the continuing dry spell and that is particularly welcome,” explained councillor Curran.

“But this isn’t always the case and the flow of water can be quite intense at times. While residents are concerned about the threat the river poses to children, they are also furious there are some who are using the waterway as an open air dump.”

The Ardglass councillor said given the many avenues open to people to get rid of their household waste, “there is no excuse for dumping it in a river.”

He said residents in Seaview want the children’s safety issue addressed as a matter of urgency and hopes to arrange a site meeting with NI Water officials.

Councillor Curran said some residents walk across the Mill River as a short curt to access the Crew Hill Park and Hunter’s Way areas in the village, suggesting their safety also needs to be taken into consideration.

He added: “I hope part of the river close to Seaview can be piped. The consequences of a child falling in are too horrific to contemplate.

“While the provision of a fence to seal off the play area from the river bank is one option moving forward, it’s my contention that piping this section of the waterway offers a more permanent solution.”