The Boyne at Slane is a popular swimming area.

Bathing status sought for Slane waters

An application to have the very popular swimming spot on the Boyne at Slane officially designated a bathing area has been made.

An application had been made for bathing status for the area to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following a proposal by Cllr Wayne Harding.

“The area of the river known as The Sluice at Slane Bridge is a very popular spot for swimming all year round but particularly in summertime,” he said.

“Generations of Slane people have swam there. My father was a regular swimmer there, so was I and now my children swim there.”

Cllr Harding explains the area is a body of water between the river and the old Boyne Navigation and is located on the Slane Castle side of the bridge on the south side.

“It has been very busy recently because of the warm weather, but it is used for swimming all year round and it is very popular with local families.”

He said that if the application for bathing status is successful it will greatly improve water safety for all bathers.

"Unfortunately the area has significant safety issues and bathing status would help not just safety and water quality, but also access, and enhance the area as a community amenity.

“Safety measures could include safety equipment and measures, signage about water depths and could even include lifeguards at busier periods.

“There would also be water quality monitoring and this will inevitably bring about improved water quality. As well being a popular local amenity, it will be part of the The Boyne Greenway, which is well advanced.

“Each addition along the Greenway will add to the user experience.

“There have been beautiful picnic benches installed with disabled access at the bridge and an upgrade of parking would be very welcome.”

As part of the application process surveys have been carried out on usage and the numbers bathing there during warm spells are very high.

“There are many families in the area who have used it for swimming throughout the years.

“It is a natural amenity and with that comes the dangers of rivers, so a constructive effort to regularize safety, water quality and access can only be positive," he said.

Meanwhile, the emerging preferred route for the Greenway link from The Battle of the Boyne site at Oldbridge with Navan is expected to be announced in the next few months.

Work is ongoing on the design for the cycle and walkway between the Battle of the Boyne site and the preferred route will be discussed with landowners before going on display.

A section of Greenway from the Drogheda to Oldbridge is already in place and the planning process continues for the section between Mornington and Drogheda.