Beach Alert in Newcastle

I feel like a grown up Slugger now, harking back to an old entry of mine- but I referred to the quality of our beaches in one of my first posts. The Good Beach Guide issued Newcastle, Co Down with a warning back in May over treatment of sewage.

I note today that the Beach had to be closed after the discovery of raw sewage in the area. With today being called the hottest day of the century, things can only get worse, and it sounds like someone needs to get their act together real quick. It was 30.5 degrees celsius, and that was 87 farenheit in old money

Down District Council, which is responsible for the beach, shut down a section of shore and the boating pond shortly before 2.30pm. A council spokeswoman said the decision was made in the interests of public safety. Earlier that day, 1,500 fish were found dead in the River Shimna in Newcastle. Discharge from a nearby Water Service sewage pumping station is thought to be the cause of the deaths.

  • joeCanuck

    Looks like nothing ever changes in Newcastle.
    The first (and only) time I went swimming in Newcastle was St. Patrick’s day in 1967 (jeez it wasn’t half cold). After 10 minutes or so my partner and I realized that we were swimming in a sea of human shit. I contributed to the mess by throwing up.
    I’ll never be back.

  • Why

    How many millions did they spend last year on a new beach front? what a lovely walk it makes past all the floaters, like a bad night in the arena toilets.

  • USA

    Vacationing in Ireland and I was at Newcastle beach in Co.Down on Sunday with my American wife and our two kids. We were near the Slieve Donard hotel, it was a nice warm day. The Irish couple sitting to our left got up to go I watched them dispose of their empty bottle of wine and an empty beer can behind the rocks. I could not believe the selfishness of their behaviour. Real scumbags.
    I know the politicians here really are a pathetic bunch (“Ballymena Taleban” – that was funny) but does no one here accept any responsibility for the environment in which you live.
    Tourism? lets see…Litter, huge fires with seemingly no oversight from the fire department or local authorities, everything closed last week, binge drinking, devisive marches, Sellafield, sectarian tensions, flags everywhere (including paramilitary flags) etc. That simply won’t cut if for tourists.
    Today at the St Patricks centre in Downpatrick our first sight when getting out of the car was a 30 year old woman clutching a bottle of hard booze and throwing up on the grass.
    But lots of nice things have happened along the way also.On the upside the weather has been great and the Glens of Antrim were beautiful. So we are going back to Ballycastle.
    Have a nice day 🙂

  • McGrath

    USA (if you are real), I have to (reluctantly) resort to whataboutry to rebut your statements….

    If you want to see drunks puking and pissing themselves, go for a walk along the promenade of Santa Monica, or any major street in San Francisco.

    Binge drinking – Spring break in Lake Havasu, the parking lot of any NASCAR event, or any Ozfest for that matter.

    Divisive Marches – time warp back 30 years and compare (black panthers / KKK), more recently most ACLU marches or your million man march from a few years ago.

    Sectarian Tensions – LA riots 1992, Miami riots prior to that, or let’s take a drive down to Compton or Boyle Heights today and discuss with the locals.

    Sellafield – Hanford or Three Mile Island, Northern Nevada and New Mexico Desert Nuclear Test Sights etc (50 years later you still cant go there).

    Sewage Discharge – Hyperion and Tillman WWTPs in Los Angeles, 10 MGPD of sewage sludge into Santa Monica bay, repeated beach closures in Orange and San Diego counties due to bacteria and pathogen counts in the water.

    I will give you littering, many Irish think nothing of throwing their litter at their arse or out the door of their car with no regard for what they do. But those guys in the orange suits on the sides of the freeways, what are they picking up?

    I have to give you bonfires too, and flags, nowhere is more obsessed with flags than NI. The USA is up there about waiving flags in your face, but at least it is the same flag in most cases. (Except if you listen to Lynard Synard a lot). I will mention a recent trip to Australia, I think I counted about 4 instances of the Australian nation flag in my six week trip (and 2 of them were at the airport)

    Can you accept any responsibility for the environment in which you live?

    See, that same stuff happens in the USA except it happens over a much wider area. You just have to travel less to see it in Ireland. It happens in just about every other country I have seen. (I work as an engineer with much extended travel.)

    People in glass houses mate!

  • McGrath

    Beach closures in Newcastle, rampant clean water violations at various other beaches and waterways, but they are going to give Jackie McDonald $75M! (I know he is just the latest). Maybe we should just pump the shite over into the Jackie’s back yard, just in time for his tea party with Mary.

  • eranu

    down district council is responsible for the beach yet it has been floater central for decades judging by some posts ive read on the subject. so what do people do when their councillors are doing a ‘crap’ job (sorry about that!).
    the answer is to vote them out and vote in a crowd that can and will fix the problem. unfortunately voters here dont think like that when it comes to choosing who to vote for, and councillors dont think that being seen to provide a good service to the area is important to get peoples votes. shouting the usual cringe inducing words and phrases should do the job.

    it applies everywhere in NI, but you’d think that sewage on the beach of one of our main ‘resorts’ would be something the local councillors would be promising to fix and voters would be kicking up a stink about!

  • esmereldavillalobos

    …voters would be kicking up a stink about!

    Boom, and indeed, boom.

  • Fraggle

    Sounds like a Failed Political Entity when you put it like that Eranu.

  • eranu

    bit harsh fraggle. just needs parties to put their national preferences at the back of the manifesto in small print and never mention it unless they’re asked. no need to repeat the same thing over and over.
    then the bulk of what they say and do can be about proper issues, just like everywhere else.

    imagine a department in a company that was vastly under performing and whose responsibilites were in a complete mess. would the staff in that department keep their jobs year after year? and get promotions? dont think so. they’d be out the door asap. thats what voters should be doing to councillors who cant fix a sewage problem after decades of time.

  • Miss Fitz

    I think you might find the Water Service has control of the sewage…..

    You might find this interesting

  • Steaky

    I live in Newcastle and have to admit it is a bit ridiculous that in this heat wave during the peak tourist season, when the natural envirnoment in the town rivals anything else you would get in ANY resort in europe that the beach is closed to a sewage discharge and lets face it I wont be getting in that water anytime soon, whether the council say that it is clean or not.

    The Council may not be responsible for the water service but little has been done for Newcastle in the last 20 years (bar the new promenade)
    The new town plan encompassing one lane of traffic along the main st (famous for young people continously circling the town and for double parking) and the cycle lane with no start or end point or demand should mean that Newcastle becomes undesirable for tourists and residents alike for many years to come.

  • Fraggle

    I sound harsh and you sound naive. People here don’t vote on the basis of sewage or anything like that.

  • eranu

    if the council has responsibility for the beach, and they are elected, then i would see it as their job to make sure it is clean and free from raw sewage. id see that as high up the importance list in a beach resort! the water service might run the pipes and sewage system but surely the council can get them to fix the problem. isnt the council what people go to about local problems?

  • eranu

    “I sound harsh and you sound naive. People here don’t vote on the basis of sewage or anything like that.”

    but they do vote on alot of other crap! i know the way it is here fraggle. i just think its a load of medieval nonsense that needs to be woken up from. people need to move on to the everyday issues. thats what id prefer anyway.

  • Rory

    Don McLean will have to revise the lyrics of the Percy French clasic that he once covered so poignantly – “Where The Mountains of Shit Sweep down to the Sea.”

    It’s bloody heartbreaking. I really do feel like weeping.

  • USA


    Yes I am real, and while I certainly accept a lot of what you say, I felt your response was indeed weakened with a lot of “whataboutery”.
    The subject was Newcastle beach which is why I posted, the topic was not about the US.

    In response:

    “Divisive Marches – time warp back 30 years and compare (black panthers / KKK)”

    That’s right “time warp back 30 years”, it’s not something that happens every month or so, year after year after year.

    “Sectarian Tensions – LA riots 1992, Miami riots prior to that”

    1992 was 14 years ago, the Miami riots were in 1980, that’s 26 years ago. Also, America is huge, LA and Miami are 3000 miles apart, that is like comparining the Poll Tax riots in London with a riot in Istanbul that were decades apart.
    Again, the rioting in “the wee six” appears every year, if not every month. That is a major social problem that does not exist to the same extent in the US.

    In your response you also mention the accident at Three Mile Island in PA. That was 1979, again 27 years ago. Please, are you a history teacher? The Sellafield / shit / litter / broken bottles etc on Newcastle beach issue has been a continuous ongoing sore for decades, your pathetic politicians are too busy (doing nothing) to address these issues for the people of the region.

    Yes Americans have a litter problem like any other western society and yes the guys in the orange suits on the side of the freeway are indeed picking up the litter. FYI they are usually people who have come through the juvenile court system and are serving “community service”. In this way they clean up the mess in parts of their community and take classes in responlible citizenship etc. I actually think its a good idea.

    Have a nice (hot) day. 🙂

  • Miss Fitz

    One day, I will post something and it wont descend into mindless you said/I said. USA, thanks for your contribution, it’s always telling to see ourselves as others see us.

    And you’re right, I posted this as a discussion on either the Water Service and sewage/tourism/Newcastle or something releveant.

    All I can say is the heat is getting to people more than usual today. :))