No ban on photographing weddings on the beaches

PRIME LOCATIONSeveral beaches in Mayo, including Mulranny Beach, are used weekly by wedding photographers.Photo: Mulranny Park Hotel

Anton McNulty

Photographers will not be charged for obtaining a permit to work on Blue Flag beaches during the summer season following an amendment to the draft regulations.
A series of new by-laws governing the use of Blue Flag beaches during the summer season were put before councilors for adoption at last week’s May meeting of Mayo County Council.
Among the new regulations, photographers and filmmakers will have to obtain a permit to work on the beaches. Some photographers feared they would have to pay up to €800 for a permit, as this is the price of a similar permit administered by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
However, Achill’s adviser Paul McNamara proposed an amendment that would ensure there would be no charge if the regulations were passed.
“We cannot get the message across that [if] someone is getting married and wants to take pictures on the beach, there must be a charge, there is not. People should have the opportunity to take pictures on the beach,” he said.
This amendment was seconded by Cllr Gerry Coyle, who said he was glad common sense prevailed.
“Every wedding we’ve had in the house there have been pictures of the beach, and please God there will be more. I wouldn’t want to be the manager to say you can’t do this, and I’m glad common sense prevailed,” he said.
Westport Councilor Christy Hyland criticized some of the other permit regulations for people who have businesses on the beaches, and he claimed they would affect young people looking to earn extra money during the summer.
“A young person giving swimming lessons on the beach during the summer holidays will now have to pay for a permit,” he said.
Services Director John Condon confirmed that businesses around beaches must have a permit and Environment Section Chief Martin Keating said this was to ensure suppliers are qualified to provide the service .
“The aim is to give users of these services the certainty that this person is qualified and has the appropriate insurance to provide the service safely on the beach. We are all aware of the dangers,” he said. .
Cllr Hyland was not happy that a charge could be applied to these permits, but Mayo County Council’s Cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Smyth, said any charge would be minimal, to cover administration and ensure any person running a business does it at a good level.

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