Vandalised lifebuoys found in lakes of Sean Walsh Park

By Mary Dennehy

A NUMBER of vandalised ring buoys have been salvaged from the lakes of Sean Walsh Park in recent weeks.

According to Gar Tyrell, a volunteer member of Tallaght Litter Mugs and Tallaght Tidy Towns, four lifebuoys and several of their casings have been salvaged by volunteers during recent clean-ups of the park.

Litter Mugs group pic 1

Group pic of volunteers (Image: John Staunton)

“Quite unbelievably, we have noticed on our regular litter-picks, several recent incidents of vandalism to the life-saving ring buoys located on the banks of the lakes within Sean Walsh Park,” Gar said.

“We have salvaged four ring buoys and several of their housing devices from the lakes in the park over the last few weeks.”

Community volunteers have been working alongside South Dublin County Council in maintaining the park, and are together raising the importance of its lakeside water buoys.

Sean Fox, Water Safety Development Officer of South Dublin County Council, said: “On average five people are lost to drowning every fortnight in Ireland. That is on average 127 every year.

“It may come as a surprise that 62 per cent of all drowning mortalities occur at inland water sites.

Litter Mugs ring buoy Gar and SDCC 1

Gar Tyrell with John, South Dublin County Council park warden

“Fast-running water leads to pinning and entrapment and because we live in a temperate climate, cold water shock is the largest single factor that contributes to all drownings.

“Cold water immersion brings on that response which causes an immediate loss of breathing control, possible dizziness, increase in heart rate and blood pressure and with that, some panic.

“This dramatically increases the risk of sudden drowning even if the water is calm and you know how to swim.”

According to Water Safety Ireland, it is estimated that between one and two people are saved by a ring buoy in Ireland every month.

The Litter Mugs has encouraged anybody who notices a missing or damaged ring buoy in a local park to report it to www.ringbuoys.ie.

Most recently, vandalised water buoys were found during a Tallaght Litter Mugs clean-up of Sean Walsh Park on July 25.

Some 27 people took part in the community-led event, with support from other groups including Tallaght Tidy Towns, Dodder Action and Weiry Hearts.

“We would love to sincerely thank everyone who joined us and to everyone who supports us, including South Dublin County Council (SDCC), that do a lot of work behind the scenes to keep our parks such wonderful places for us all to enjoy, particularly more important now with the recent restrictions due to Covid,” Gar told The Echo.

“There has been a marked increase in the use of our public spaces, which is of course to be welcomed.

“However, there is a small minority that is leaving litter in their wake, while enjoying the parks. We would remind everyone to please use the public bins provided or bring any waste or packaging home.”

He added: “As always, Tallaght Litter Mugs welcome anyone new to join us – we are a very welcoming bunch.

“While we can’t guarantee that the sun will shine – although it does quite often make an appearance – you will make new friends, you will enjoy yourself and you will feel great afterwards – that we can guarantee.”

Follow the Tallaght Litter Mugs on Facebook.

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