Confusion has arisen over the continued prevention of pedestrian access to a stunning north Donegal  beach, popular with locals and tourists.

In November past, Donegal County Council placed a gate with a “no entry” notice 300 metres from Five Finger Strand, in Inishowen, which stopped access to the beach from Lagg Chapel.

A community campaign in the form of a petition was subsequently launched against the closure.

Speaking to Donegal Now, local environmental activist, Des Glackin said in spite of the gate and notice “people are voting with their feet.”

He said: “On a recent beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, I was down at Five Finger Strand, which was mobbed. It was full of people enjoying a fabulous natural amenity.”

A concerned Feilimi Mac Phaidin said  he understood the gate was to be removed last week.

Mr Mac Phaidin said: “I understood from Council officers the gate was to be removed from the Lagg Chapel access road on Friday past and Donegal County Council was going to place a ramp down onto the beach to keep visitors safe.

“It was believed Donegal County Council was considering plans to construct a boardwalk at Five Finger Strand. However, I do not think this is going to happen now.

“I am very disappointed the gate remains in place and there is still a dangerous drop onto the beach, in spite of assurances from council officers.

“Instead of preventing visitors from accessing Five Finger Strand, we should be warmly welcoming them here. We should be saying, ‘Come and walk on our beautiful beaches. Come and climb our beautiful mountains.’” said Mr Mac Phaidin.

The Inish Times requested an update from Donegal County Council on the gate at Five Finger Strand. However, at the time of going to press it had not been received.

In November past Donegal County Council said it continued to address the access to Five Finger Strand, Lagg, which was destroyed in the floods following Storm Ophelia.

“While beach access via Lagg Church remains closed due to health and safety risks, the public continues to enjoy this beautiful amenity by accessing from the southern, Malin approach.

“The Council has completed topographical surveys of the area and is progressing plans for reinstating access in conjunction with local landowners and National Parks and Wildlife Service who are key stakeholders. Funding for the remedial works will also have to be secured.

“The ongoing co-operation of the public is appreciated as we continue our efforts to address this flood damage and secure a replacement access to the beach,” the statement concluded.

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