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Saturday 20 September 2014

Locals fortify retreating dunes to protect at-risk homes

Sam Griffin

Published 12/01/2014 | 02:30

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Local volunteer, 9 year old Darragh Brett helps out with repairs to the eroded sand dunes at The Burrow, Portrane, Co. Dublin.
Photo: Tony Gavin 11/1/2014
Local volunteer, 9 year old Darragh Brett helps out with repairs to the eroded sand dunes at The Burrow, Portrane.

Residents of one storm- battered community are fortifying rapidly retreating sand dunes in a desperate effort to protect their homes.

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Following the recent high tides, several seafront houses along the Burrow in Portrane in north county Dublin are under threat after the sand dunes retreated several meters.

From early yesterday morning, locals from the area took to the beach with local construction companies providing earth-moving machinery to help in the effort to fortify makeshift dunes.

The efforts are being co-ordinated by the Burrow Residents' Association and the Portrane Dunes Protection Group who met with local politicians at a meeting last Thursday.

On the beach, a line of flattened sandbags mark the point where the sand dunes stood only years previously. Now a gap of several metres separates them from the rapidly retreating banks. Chairman of the Residents' Association Raymond Brett told the Sunday Independent the issue had been a concern for a number of years but the recent storms and high tides had exacerbated the problem.

"You can see from the recent storms, particularly those on January 3 and then the following Tuesday, we've lost about up to 10 metres on where the dunes were.

"There was a boardwalk here once but it's been entirely lost. Thankfully there were no offshore winds driving the tides on," he said.

Locals want a sea wall-type construction to prevent any more erosion and to protect at-risk houses.

They are calling on Fingal County Council to reconsider a recently conducted survey which said such a construction would be too costly and would adversely affect the local environment.

The issue will be raised at a sitting of Fingal County Council tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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