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  • Northside East

Action is demanded to save homes

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018 8:00am
Action is demanded to save homes

The aftermath of the recent storms in Portrane. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Action is demanded to save homes

The aftermath of the recent storms in Portrane. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

FINGAL County Council is coming under increasing pressure to provide emergency measures for homes facing the threat of coastal erosion. 

Last month Northside People reported that Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and flood prevention, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, visited The Burrow in Portrane to see the problem first-hand. 

However, the arrival of Storm Emma exacerbated the situation and locals fear their homes are in serious danger.  

Senator James Reilly (FG) said high tides, storms and recent severe weather have put homes at risk where a substantial amount of land was lost to the sea. “I am calling on Fingal County Council to take the required action now as an emergency measure to secure the homes at this location,” he said. 

“As far as I am aware there is precedent for emergency action in situations like this.  

“Many Ministers have visited this location and are waiting for a detailed plan and application for funding for remedial work.

“This has gone on too long and I am disappointed that the Fingal Coastal Erosion Liaison Committee in Fingal County Council and Fingal officials have not come up with a solution and plan to resolve this and present it to Government for funding.”

Senator Reilly said the problem has been well flagged for years. 

“I am assured by Ministers funding is available,” he added. 

“However, we need immediate remedial action now. There are families under extreme stress here and they need Fingal County Council to act now to save their homes.”

Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee, who raised the issue with Minister Moran in Seanad Éireann last week, said lives and homes are being left in grave danger.

“There is a real risk now of many homes becoming flooded by the sea and both residents and homeowners are incredibly frustrated with the authorities’ lack of urgency in dealing with the threat,” she said. 

“A solution must be found to save the properties in immediate danger in Portrane while a broader term remedy is identified.”

A spokeswoman for Fingal County Council said that since 1997 the council has been working with the local community on initiatives to address their concerns relating to coastal erosion and flooding. “More recently the council has established the Fingal Coastal Liaison Group to improve our ability to work with coastal communities affected by erosion and flooding including Portrane,” she said.  

“A wide range of best practice technical proposals relating to coastal erosion at Portrane have been examined by specialist consultants on behalf of the council and none of these have proven to be feasible given the particular circumstances at The Burrow.  

“The greater risk to The Burrow, however, is from coastal flooding and the council has commissioned consultants to prepare a works programme specifically designed to address this issue. 

“Our aim is to begin implementing these works as soon as possible and the coastal liaison group will be kept briefed and involved at all stages in this process.”

The spokeswoman said that during recent discussions with Minister Moran and his officials, the council outlined plans for extensive flood protection measures for Portrane.  

“The Minister confirmed that he is well disposed to assisting with the funding of these measures,” she said.

“The council is pursuing the implementation of these measures having regard to all the necessary planning and regulatory requirements.

“The council is aware of the serious and understandable concerns of the local community following the recent severe weather events and the resulting impact on the coastline in Portrane.  

“As always, public safety is our primary concern and the council is working to ensure that safe access to the public beach is provided and maintained notwithstanding the very significant works involved."  

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