herald

Sunday 23 November 2014

Families fear for homes as sea erodes city beach

A SEA erosion plan is to be drawn up for a Dublin beach after 12 feet of coastline was swept away.

The dramatic incident happened in Portrane, north Co Dublin, in October when a high tide washed away a large chunk of land.

Fingal County Council is to hire specialist consultants to examine the problem.

A 4.4 metre high tide washed away 12 feet of coastline from the Burrow in Portrane during the high tide.

The council said the study will identify the most appropriate coastal protection measure for the area and funding will be sought from the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Following latest erosion, residents estimate just 17 metres separate them from the sea, putting their homes at risk.

Despite assurances from the council, they believe they are living on borrowed time. It is claimed that up to 10 metres of sand dunes spanning almost 1,000 metres of coastline have been lost to coastal erosion.

Labour TD Brendan Ryan wants Agriculture and Marine Minister Simon Coveney and Brian Hayes, who has responsibility for the OPW, to act immediately.

"Coastal erosion in the Burrow, Portrane is not something new," he said.

"But it is the increased pace and severity in recent times that is so alarming."

A boardwalk constructed by the council to divert walkers from the dunes and to promote grass growth was partly washed away and is now unusable.

Locals say that in the past four years the coastline has really deteriorated.

Fingal Council says the legislation indicates State agencies are responsible for the protection of public property against coastal erosion.

comurphy@herald.ie

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