Meanwhile, In Clonea



This morning.

Outside the Clonea Strand Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, where the  Department of Justice housed 32 Syrian refugees last December.

RockPaperScissors tweetz:

The main Clonea Beach carpark now closed to public with coded barrier, so no direct access to beach…


Previously: A Wintry Welcome

82 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Clonea

    1. Mickey Twopints

      Very well. If we must be pedantic, perhaps the sign should be modified to reflect the new status of the building. Exchange “patrons” for “residents”. Happy now?

  1. Parky Mark

    Private car park, belonging to the hotel. Can’t see the issue. I can’t see the problem about direct access to the beach though.

    1. Cormac

      Yes, it is a private car park, but if you knew the area you would know how much restricting access to the car park restricts access to the beach. The building you see behind the blue and white sign is the lifeguard station and toilets. The main wheelchair access to the beach, and to these is from the far left corner of the car park, so while it is technically private, there always was access through it to the beach. All people want to know is why can’t we have the same access?

      During summer time I think the hotel used to charge for parking. I imagine no-one has an issue with paying, but if the carpark is shut completely then there is only one smaller council car park further up the road, and I reckon this will cause chaos trying to get to the beach during summer time.

  2. Gareth

    The biggest tourist amenity in Dungarvan is our wonderful blue flag Clonea Strand which is frequented year round by locals and visitors alike. During the summer it is a hive of activity, with hundreds of families staying at the 2 caravan parks and at Clonea Strand Hotel. It hosts the annual triathlon and Christmas Day Swim.

    The principal access to Clonea Strand is via the hotel car park, which has been open to the public for generations. There are smaller car parks at either end but these are not really used by tourists and locals to the same extent. There is a council-owned car park 400m from the beach. For water sports such as surfing and kayaking and the very popular local triathlon club, the hotel car park is really the only option and provides a very pleasant and sociable atmosphere before and after activities.

    In December, the designation of the hotel was changed to a refugee centre without any local consultation and despite the objections of the neighbouring campsites and the local shop which will see generations of business evaporate.

    This weekend a barrier was erected blocking access to the hotel car park without a code. This deprives the public of direct access to the beach and in particular blocks access to the only wheelchair ramp, in addition to the lifeboat station and public toilets. Surfers cannot access the beach directly. Understandably the locals are horrified, and the optics are very bad as limiting public access to the beach can only increase feelings of resentment toward refugees and worsen chances of successful integration.

    The car park access situation to which people are objecting is the sole responsibility of the hotel owners and not due to any action of the refugees, who are blameless. I understand that the hotel will argue that the hotel car park is private, however when the car park was attached to a hotel, the public had guaranteed access as customers, whereas when it is a refugee centre car park, the public do not enjoy the same rights.

    1. EmigRant

      So what you’re saying is there a public car park but it’s further away. Also if there is no wheelchair access from public car park that’s the councils issue. Sounds a bit like you’re using this minor issue (a private institution doing what private institutions are perfectly entitled to do) to spout your objectives to housing a group of people whose homes had been ripped asunder by war and whose best option was to pile in to rubber dingy and hope they don’t die on their way to a place that has thankfully enjoyed modern day peace.

      1. Columbo's Missus

        Just FYI the council car park is much smaller and it will fill up very quickly now that the hotel car park is closed. I’m surprised at the hotel owners action considering his car park was a nice little earner for him

  3. Jim

    Used to love that hotel way back when. Spent a wonderful weekend their once with a group of priests at some conference or other. Father Ted meets Fawlty Towers…

  4. Baz

    Typical Ireland, locals sneak in and out of the well maintained car park, never spending a penny in the hotel, leads to financial strain on hotel, hotel seeks out alternative business model, locals apoplectic that hotel installs system to restrict access to car park because locals had previously ignored polite request to only use car park if a patron of the hotel.
    You’ve earned it Clonea

    1. Rashers

      Or in other words:

      Typical Ireland, local unsightly hotel plonks itself alongside a famous stretch of beach, never putting an ounce of cash into maintaining it, yet reaping financial reward from passing trade and visitors, locals are intolerant of a new private car park but put up with it whilst access remains, suddenly their ire is rised as hotel closes access to public amenity.
      You’ve earned it Basil.

    2. Columbo's Missus

      Not true. The hotel is used when it’s open. It opens only for the summer. Clonea is only a beach, 2 mobile home sites, 2 seasonal shops and 1 seasonal hotel. The reason the locals were upset was there’s nothing for refugees to do our there and housing them in a hotel at the end of a cul de sac with no public transport, no local amenities other than a beach, no shops, no parks, no schools, no places of worship, no community facilities is wrong and wholly unfair to the poor souls. Housing refugees in an urban centre would be more appropriate. I live in a large town and would have no problem whatsoever with our former asylum seeker accommodation being reopened to house Syrian refugees.

        1. Nigel

          They found Clamps flattened on the ground, body crisscrossed with what looked suspiciously like wheelchair tracks.

      1. D2dweller

        Sure your hardly gonna be wheeling the chair across the sand now are you? Throw them on a lilo and drag em along. They can limbo under the barrier

  5. Stephen F

    Google street view shows an access at the end of the road, as well as pedestrian access through the car park via bollards and a council car park 200m up the road.

    Have these been removed/closed too?

    So basically the complaint is that a private car park was closed to the public using a barrier?

  6. Owen C

    That’s not the Clonea Beach car park. Its the Clonea Strand Hotel car park.

    Also, in some of the comments above, a huge amount of NIMBY-ism. I completely understand that, btw, but it again shows the problem with accomodation for refugees and why the whole “let 30k of them in” is a dangerously under-resourced and completely ill-thought-out suggestion. We need to figure out where to put them first.

    1. Smith

      They’re giving the refugees private swimming lessons so they can swim back, at minimal cost to the state.

    2. ahjayzis

      Do you think ‘public consultations’ should be mandatory for every hotel sheltering Irish homeless people or is it just people fleeing war?

      It’d be a tough task for whoever’s adjudicating, trying to balance the competing desperate needs, the refugees needing somewhere safe from war, death and torture to rebuild their lives and the locals wanting to have a few cans on the beach and rebuild their suntan.

      1. Owen C

        so local residents concerns should not be taken into account? Serious question. NIMBY-ism is a problem in many parts of Irish life, but its not crazy either.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “so local residents concerns should not be taken into account?”

          No. Racism and irrational fear from parochial gombeens should not be taken into account when trying to decide how to help victims of war who have nothing but the shirts on their backs.

          1. Owen C

            The guy worried about local businesses collapsing and public amenities being impacted is a racist gombeen?

          2. ahjayzis

            He’s a parochial moron with no sense of perspective anyway.

            It’s a few dozen helpless people, not the Black Plague or a famine.

        2. ahjayzis

          What’s a valid ‘concern’ – a longer walk to the beach? That’s not a concern, that’s a minor inconvenience. Seriously, what concern is so important that we simply must turn away the most desperate people in the world?

          1. Owen C

            the concern about local businesses “evaporating” is a serious concern. It may not be a concern which will occur, but its not an unreasonable one if there is justification for it.

          2. ahjayzis

            What is the basis of their concerns? It may not occur, you say, but because it *could* conceivably happen, the homeless, dispossessed, traumatised men women and children fleeing horrors beyond our imagining should feck off somewhere else? Where else? If you’re turfing them out do you have an alternative recommendation or what?

            I mean, it’s a balancing act – families with absolutely nothing to their name, their lives utterly destroyed on the one hand, and on the other vague musings about the local shop maybe, possibly closing, or not, but maybe? How would you apportion weight to need in that?

          3. Owen C

            1. You suggested their concerns amounted to long walks on the beach. This is not the case. Their concerns are somewhat more serious.
            2. Consultation does not equal “no they can’t stay there”. It simply means local concerns must be part of the debate. The complaint above was that there was no local consultation.
            3. The balancing act is of course the tricky part, but i don’t think you can just ignore the issues raised by locals who have lived there for generations

          4. ahjayzis

            How about we acknowledge their gripes, and then do the whole having basic humanity thing and help people who have nothing and desperately need help, eh? They can have a little certificate that says ‘we listened to your complaints.’

          5. Owen C

            Yeah, that sounds a solution which will definitely help the refugees settle into the local community. You should work for the UN.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            “They can have a little certificate that says ‘we listened to your complaints.’”

            Excellent. A mate went canvassing last night. One chap says to him that he’s right wing and won’t be voting for my mate’s candidate. He fundamentally disagrees with all the policies. So, my mate walks away and yer man says ‘Come back, you’re supposed to argue with me.’ So many entitled clowns who think they’re the centre of the universe. I do like your ‘give the baby its bottle’ suggestion though.

          7. ahjayzis

            Honestly, imagine the scenario.

            Muhammad, Asma and their three surviving children sit across from Paddy and Maura and respectfully nod in abased sympathy while they outline the terrors they face that the local Spar might suffer a dent in trade and that congestion at the seafront could become absolute murder. They’d be back to the ruined shell of their house and lives in Aleppo or Raqqa before the tea was cold. Far too much of an imposition.

          8. ahjayzis

            Owen I’m pretty sure the UN don’t site their refugee camps or aid stations depending on an opinion poll of locals in Jordan or Lebanon – just as you don’t consult your neighbour when your house is on fire and you need to shoot water at it, in case it smudges his windows.

    3. MoyestWithExcitement

      “I completely understand that, btw, but it again shows the problem with accomodation for refugees”

      Yep. People being complete dicks to them and talking about them as if they’re cattle is a problem, yes.

      1. Owen C

        where in any way did i refer to them as cattle? Being the angry child shaking their fist is definitely your schtick, but lets leave it out of this debate, yeah?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Debate? You don’t do debate. You copy and paste and then scream like a toddler when someone points it out.

          1. Owen C

            what was copied and pasted above? Also, it’d be great if you answered my original question on the referring to them as cattle. Please and thanks.

  7. MoyestWithExcitement

    “talking about them as if they’re cattle is a problem” does *not* equal ‘referred/referring to them as cattle.’ What did I *just* say about your reading comprehension?

      1. Owen C

        We’ll take your lack of a response to my simple question as an admission that no one actually talked about them as if they were cattle. Don’t worry, I don’t hold a grudge against people who just spout bullshizzle on here, you’ll be glad to hear.

          1. Owen C

            The readers of Broadsheet. Think of this as a kinda intervention on your incessant trolling. It’s for your own good. Step away from the keyboard.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Amazing. You are truly, *truly* mad. Thanks for keeping us all entertained you absolute lunatic.

          3. Owen C

            You have now avoided answering the question on multiple occasions. Its a simple question. It asks you to back up your claims. You have failed to even attempt to do that. You are completely full of it.

  8. Jonathan

    I think you need to re-read what the local complaints say. Not a single one of the comments from the locals on this thread are objecting to the hotel being used for refugees. They have to go somewhere. Every town will have their share of people that don’t want this but the majority of this town accept the needs of these people are more important than their personal convenience.

    However, do not assume the two are mutually exclusive.

    Look at the photograph of the car park – 3 cars in it. Clearly, the refugees themselves have no immediate need for parking. The hotel has been able to operate at full capacity without excluding locals from the car park. Why on earth does the car park need to now close to locals because there are 32 people in the hotel?

    1. Owen C

      Jonathan, can you not see the parochial racist griping lack of humanity and gombeenism at play here? The locals want to walk the beach with beers in hand while catching some sunshine and don’t want to be inconvenienced by the horrors of war.

      1. Jonathan

        I can’t see that at all. I do not see a single comment objecting to the presence of the refugees in the hotel.

        Closure of the car park is unnecessary.

        You seem very keen on playing the racist card to silence dissent.

        What does that make you?

        1. Owen C


          re-read my comment. Assume that i’m taking the p1ss out of commentors above who have, word for word, used those phrases to condemn anyone who queries the rationale behind the redesignation of the hotel to a refugee centre without public consultation.

          If you re-read it in that light, you will see i am saying there is no racism involved here, but that that’s what other people are claiming is involved.

          TL:DR – Sarcasm

          1. Same old same old

            Public consultation on what you fool? The executive branch are empowered to make executive decisions so that complete and utter ill informed semi literate gombeen pig farmer imbeciles don’t block and delay necessary public projects with their inbred, parochial ‘concerns’.

  9. Alex Lyons

    Person A: family killed by ISIS, fleeing persecution

    Person B: slightly inconvenienced on their way to the beach in February

    guess who I feel sorry for?

  10. Gareth

    If people could only read properly they would see that people are objecting to the barrier, not refugees. Putting a barrier up only increases the “us and them” mentality and hinders integration. The refugees themselves are not blocking the access.

    1. Stephen

      The barrier is blocking car access to a private car park. If you want to walk in and introduce yourself to the refugees in an effort to get to know them and integrate you can just walk into the car park.

  11. Cormac

    I got clarification, so I think it’s only fair to relay it here:

    Yes, this is a private car park, but with the exception of very busy times access has never been restricted.
    This hasn’t changed.

    Yes, a new barrier has been put up, but just to help control the flow of traffic in and out of the car park.
    There is a buzzer on the barrier, and access will be granted to anyone who needs it (including those who want access to the wheelchair ramp). Also there is a code that can be entered to open the barrier, and this seems to be given out freely to regular users.

    Personally i have never had any issue with what’s going on in the hotel currently, and would hate to think that raising concerns over a barrier would be seen as some sort of slant on the refugees inside (God knows they’ve been through enough already).

  12. Catherine McEntee

    Moyest, i agree with all your comment on this thread, however the +1 I tried to post underneath one of your comments turned up underneath Owen’s. Just clarifying.

  13. Gareth

    In fairness Cormac, that is what I have heard also. I hope it will continue. I think visitors may not necessarily realise this though.

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