Down and dirty visitors at Fingal
FINGAL HEAD residents are bracing for another wave of vandalism by visitors over this Australia Day long weekend after a destructive Christmas/New Year period left them reeling.
The residents fear their town is being loved to death with the heritage listed lighthouse damaged, rubbish dumped on the beach, bushland damaged and trees dragged out of the dunes to be burnt in illegal bonfires.
Fences blocking dangerous areas were also torn down and fireworks set off near tinder-dry bushland.
Fingal Head Coastcare president Kay Bolton said more than a dozen bricks from the old foundations of the iconic lighthouse had to be put back by residents after they were removed.
"What we have experienced over the holiday amounts to vandalism," she said.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said she was one of several locals who spent an hour-and-a-half putting out unattended camp-fires on the beach on New Year's Day with one still raging with flames waist high at 9am.
Paul Fagan said he had seen the problem grow progressively worse in the 16 years he's lived in Fingal.
"They all come in and say, 'It's a wonderful place', and then try and destroy it," Mr Fagan said.
A council spokesman said they had received many complaints of damage to the area.
Crown Lands, who administer the lighthouse, had been advised of the damage to the structure and torn down fencing had been re-built, he said.