Friday 28 October 2016

'We won't tolerate defences that sabotage our beautiful seafront'

David Smyth, who owns the Ebb and Flow Cafe
David Smyth, who owns the Ebb and Flow Cafe
Massimo Cicchini of La Costa restaurant, which has been flooded twice

The fate of Clontarf's waterfront promenade remains in the balance.

There are strong feelings among locals as a working group seeks an anti-flooding barrier solution by the end of the year that does not block the priceless sea views.

The promenade extends northwards from Alfie Byrne Road all the way to The Wooden Bridge onto Bull Island.

Locals still feel tremendous relief that they succeeded in stopping the city council's "disasterous" plan to build an anti-flood barrier up to 10 feet tall in 2011 which would have wiped out sea views.

"Since then, a working group has been trying to get an acceptable plan for anti-flood defences," said David Doran, whose dry- cleaning premises was damaged by floodwaters in the past.

The working group consists of city council engineers and executives and members of Clontarf Business Association and the local residents' association.

Mr Doran said he was confident a plan can be found to install anti-flood protection without destroying the existing promenade. Keeping the height of any anti-flood barrier down to an acceptable level was crucial, he said.

David Smyth (30), owner of the aptly named Ebb and Flow Cafe, said he could not tolerate a high barrier destroying the sea view.

"The big sandbags in place on the seafront are very unsightly. A small wall would be far preferable," he said.

"The view of the water is gorgeous and must not be sabotaged by a big wall," said Elizabeth Farren (41), manager of the Casa Pasta restaurant.

"We put up with the sandbags but a big wall would not be acceptable," she said.

Nearby, Massimo Cicchini (40), owner of the La Costa fish and chip shop, said he had been flooded twice in 14 years and cannot get flood insurance.

A solution could result in him getting flood insurance at last, he said.

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