13 Aug 2022

Toddler sustains foot injuries on north Inishowen beach

Toddler sustains foot injuries on north Inishowen beach

Sandport beach, Malin Head

The mother of a young girl who sustained some injuries on a north Inishowen beauty spot has urged beach users to clean up after themselves.

The young girl, a toddler from Derry, was visiting Sandport beach in Malin Head with her family when she stood on the remnants of a fire from the night before causing her feet to blister in pain.

The girl's mother, who does not want to be named, said her daughter, who is non-verbal and has additional needs, was left “traumatised” after the incident.

“We love Sandport beach,” she explained. “The beach is her ultimate happy place and we love Sandport in particular as it’s sheltered and safe, usually quite quiet and a beautiful scenic spot.

“We noticed yesterday (Thursday) that there were the remnants of a fire from the night before, surrounded by metal, broken glass and a pile of other rubbish.

“We gathered up the rubbish and piled it together and screened it all off with a windbreaker. We warned the children not to go near it, but my little girl is non verbal and can’t follow instructions.

“The litter that was left on the fire site caught her eye and she wandered over when no one was looking.

“Her little feet blistered instantly in the embers. This was around 4pm yesterday (Thursday) and the sand was still white hot. She was in agony.”

The mother continued: “My girl was traumatised and screamed for hours, it was the most distressed she has ever been in her life, she lost her voice from screaming and the whole experience was just heart-breaking.

“I couldn’t get her to sleep until almost 3am. This morning (Friday) her feet are blistered and sore and she’s very quiet, not at all her usual happy self.”

The concerned mother said she was “disgusted that this dangerous mess was left lying on a beautiful beach for a child to wander into”.

“I wish those responsible for it could see the pain that they caused my little girl. She’s two and a half, she’s just a baby and should be able to play in the sand safely,” she said.

Manager of Malin Head Community Centre, Ali Farren echoed the mother's sentiments and asked people to take all of their rubbish home with them.

“We want to see people coming to Malin Head and enjoy the beach,” he said. “But I would remind people to please take their rubbish home with them and be mindful of other users of the beach.”

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