PRIME LOCATION Multiple beaches in Mayo, including Mulranny Beach, are used on a weekly basis by wedding photographers. Pic: Mulranny Park Hotel
Photographers will not be charged to obtain a permit to work on Blue Flag beaches during the summer season following an amendment to the proposed bye-law.
A series of new bye-laws for governing the use of Blue Flag beaches during the busy summer season came before councillors for adopting at last week’s May meeting of Mayo County Council.
Among the new bye-laws, photographers and filmmakers will have to obtain a permit to work on the beaches. There were fears among some photographers that they could be charged up to €800 for a permit, as this is the charge for a similar permit administered by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
However, Achill councillor Paul McNamara proposed an amendment that would ensure that there would be no charge if the bye-laws were adopted.
“We cannot have the message get out that [if] someone getting married and wants to get photographs on the beach there has to be a charge, there doesn’t. People should have the option to take photographs on the beach,” he said
This amendment was supported by Cllr Gerry Coyle, who said that he was glad common sense had won out.
“Every wedding we had in the house there has been pictures from the beach, and please God there will be more. I would not like to be the warden to say you cannot do that, and I am glad common sense has prevailed,”he said.
Westport councillor Christy Hyland was critical of some of the other bye-laws regarding permits for people who have businesses on the beaches, and he claimed they would affect young people looking to make some extra money during the summer.
“A young person giving swimming lessons on beach during summer holidays will now have to pay for a permit,” he said.
Director of Services, John Condon confirmed that businesses around beaches have to have a permit and Head of the Environment section, Martin Keating said that this was to ensure providers are qualified to provide the service.
“The purpose is to give the users of these services the confidence that that person is qualified and has appropriate insurance in place to provide the service with a safe manner on the beach. We are all aware of dangers,” he said.
Cllr Hyland was not happy that a fee may be applied to these permits, but Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Smyth, said that any fee would be small, to cover the administration and make sure anyone operating a business is doing so to a good standard.