Designate Sandy Bottoms as Swimming Area

Bert Bridge over the river Barrow on a sunny summers day

Sandy Bottoms –  Swimming Area

Kildare County Council currently have no designated Bathing Waters area for swimming etc within the county. Carlow have several designated spots on the Barrow, and Kilkenny, the same. From what I can see of the criteria, it is difficult to gain designation without people using a location daily. However, in order to get people using an area daily, certain infrastructure & access issues need to be met. Therefore a chicken and egg situation exists.  I had planned to submit the suggestion that “Sandy Bottoms” at Bert/Tubberrara outside Athy be re-designated as a public bathing area with lifeguards etc. during summer months. However, the area has become heavily overgrown in recent years and as a result, very few swim here anymore. I use it maybe once a week over the summer but very rarely meet other swimmers. If Kildare County Council were to invest in clearing & reopening access along the riverside right-of-way, I think this area would return to its former glory days of hundreds swimming and bathing there daily throughout the summer months.  This could be Kildare’s first designated Bathing Area and reintroduce the people of Kilberry, Athy, Castlemithcell and further afield to wild open water swimming. The river Barrow is a unique and fantastic asset that we have on our doorstep, we should be using it to its full potential and the benefit of all locally. I think having this area re-established as it was during the 50’s through to the 00’s  would be of huge benefit to the physical and mental wellbeing of all living in south Kildare.


Kildare First Designated Bathing Area

If you feel that access, lifeguards and ring buoys should be put back in place at Sandy Bottoms, and that it should be officially designated an outdoor bathing area, please visit and make a submission. The deadline for submissions is June 9th.


2nd June 2023


Clifford Reid

Written by Clifford Reid


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