'I told them it was a death trap'
A COUNCILLOR has warned Wexford County Council about the dangers at Carrigfoyle quarry for years.
'I told them it was a death trap,' said Cllr. Padge Reck, recalling this week that he raised the issue countless times over the past 15 years, at least.
Cllr. Reck warned about the public danger posed by the open quarry lake during Council meetings. He also brought it up as a health and safety issue during recent discussions on behalf of local residents who are worried about the proposed building of a VEC outdoor pursuits centre in the area which is designated as a special wildlife habitat.
Barntown residents expressed concerns about safety at the lake during meetings with the Council and County Wexford VEC, as well as other issues including land trespass and litter.
'By building a walking trail and an outdoor centre, you are enticing more people into an area that is the biggest death trap in the country,' said Cllr. Reck.
'I don't swim myself. I have a nervousness about water but I can smell danger from a 100 miles away. If you go to that quarry and have a look at it, you will say - oh my God.'
'Whether you are six or 60, it is dangerous. There should be a safety barrier around it,' said Cllr. Reck.
'I have raised it on numerous occasions with the County Council and County Wexford VEC. I told them that here you have an open quarry where there is no chance of saving someone if they get into difficulty.'
Cllr. Reck said the general gist of the responses he received was that it would be impossible to fence but the Council would have a look at it.
Fianna Fail TD John Browne also warned about the quarry at Council meetings as well as the late Cllr. Michael Sinnott, according to the Wexford councillor.
Cllr. Reck said he had been asked to raise the issue by residents in the immediate area.
One local resident this week described the quarry as 'an accident waiting to happen'.
'They put a sign up saying 'no bathing' but no-one ever came out to stop young people from swimming in it,' he said.
'There was no warden ever out here telling them not to swim or anyone from the Water Safety Council.'
Barntown's Barry Booth is another local resident concerned about the quarry. 'I had put in a submission to the Council to make the place safe and make it a tourist area with picnic tables and that kind of thing, but unfortunately it was turned down,' he said.