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Friday 29 August 2014

House falling off cliff following Superstorm Christine

Published 09/01/2014 | 12:56

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Carpark at Cahore has been turned to rubble

A wrecked holiday home in Wexford “wasn’t the first and won’t be the last” of residential properties to suffer from storm damage in the region, according to a local councillor.

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John Terry’s house at Gorey, Wexford was left in ruins as Superstorm Christine demolished one of the bedrooms of the home, carrying furniture and debris out to sea. 

It is believed that the damage to the house, which now hangs over the seaside cliff edge, will cost up to €60,000 to repair.

“This summer home is not the only home to have been affected this winter – and it won’t be the last if conditions don’t improve dramatically,” FF Cllr Malcolm Byrne told Independent.ie.

“It’s devastating for anyone to lose their property but the real issue is about defending the whole Wexford coastline.”

The recent damage has been the worst to hit the region in over a decade, said Cllr Byrne, but the larger problem for the community will be to solve the issue of marine erosion in the future.

“Erosion over the entire North Wexford area is a huge problem – and has been for years.  In the last decade, a number of green and blue flag beaches have been eroded – a huge blow for the county which relies heavily on visitors during the summer months.”

“This winter, for example, the carpark in Cahore Beach was badly hit but we are hoping to have this resurfaced before the upcoming summer season.” 

Labour Cllr Robert Ireton for Gorey maintains that some residents in the area have built their properties too close the edge of the cliff. 

“While many in the area have laid a good foundation base for their homes, some have sacrificed structural soundness for a better sea view,” he told Independent.ie

“They are building too close to the edge of the cliff and the banks can slip in times of extreme weather conditions.”

As Mr Terry’s home has been built on private land, Cllr Ireton said that the local council are limited in terms of assistance

“The Council will offer help in terms of advice in making sure the reparation work is done correctly so that this kind of damage won’t happen again. However, the property is on private land and the council wouldn’t have the finance to pump into its repair,” he said.

The Labour representative echoed Cllr Byrne’s sentiment, however, that the real issue is on a much larger scale.

“Gorey District has already completed an assessment of the damage, on a short-term and a long-term basis. This is being submitted to the Wexford County Council and will then go on to Central Government, with an aim to achieve more funds for the Wexford area in the wake of the storm damage.”

“The area is looking for immediate remedial reparation – but also more long term action to protect itself from further erosion,” he said.

Louise Kelly

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