Saturday 23 March 2019

Council to vote on reducing flood wall - after residents complain it ruins sea view

Waves hitting Clontarf coastal wall. Clontarf, Dublin
Waves hitting Clontarf coastal wall. Clontarf, Dublin

Councillors will vote next month on a controversial plan to shave 30cm off a seawall in Clontarf, which some residents say impedes their view of the sea.

The proposed remedial work to the Clontarf flood wall will be discussed at next month's meeting of Dublin City Council.

However, it has already generated division among councillors representing the area.

At issue is a 625m stretch of flood protection fronting St Anne's Park in Raheny.


Some local residents and businesses have complained the wall blocks views of Dublin Bay and Bull Island.

They claimed it was taller than they had agreed to following consultation when construction of the local flood defences began in 2015.

Clontarf councillor Damien O'Farrell said the stretch of wall in question was built too high by mistake.

However, the flood defence wall along the rest of the seafront was built to the right size, he told the Herald. Because the section near the park in the area dips down, "they over-compensated" and built the wall too high, he added.

He claimed the council was to recommend a reduction on the wall at the time, but reneged on that promise.

As a result, the council is now looking at dipping into its flood alleviation budget for the work to lower the wall.

The proposed work would cost around €530,000 - including €230,000 to reduce the height by 30cm.

The rest of the work includes cladding the wall in blue limestone and adding a stone cap.

Solidarity councillor Michael O'Brien said the expenditure would not only be a waste of money, but the wall will likely have to be raised back within a few decades due to climate change and higher waters.

A report submitted to the council warned reducing the height of the wall would reduce protection against a tidal surge from a one every 200 years event to a one in 100, the council heard.


"That would be inconsistent with national policy on tidal flood measures," DCC chief executive Owen Keegan told the council last week.

However, Mr O'Brien said some local councillors seemed to be willing to side with the residents instead of protecting the area from future flooding.

"There was a vociferous campaign by local businesses and the residents' association," he told the Herald.

"But at the end of the day, lowering the wall would give a slightly improved view of the bay if you're driving.

"I couldn't justify to constituents at the doors in Darndale and Coolock to spend €500,000 to improve the view of motorists, who should have their eyes on the road anyway," Cllr O'Brien added.

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