ONE of north Kerry's greatest tourism assets, Ballybunion Golf Club, is under threat of serious erosion and parts of the land remain flooded more than two weeks after storms and high tides battered our coast.
The people of north Kerry are still counting the cost of the storms which flooded homes in Ballylongford and the Cashen, destroyed beaches and lef the county with a massive repair bill.
But the impact on Ballybunion Golf Club could threaten the future of the famous links course, which is the single most popular destination for tourists in north Kerry. Powerful waves washed part of the shore at the Yellow Point away and it is feared further erosion there would cut off a number of holes leaving a repair bill the Golf Club will be unable to meet.
"I'm calling on the council or state to step-in and help Ballybunion Golf Club carry out protection works now," local councillor Robert Beasley said.
"The Golf Club is just too important to Ballybunion and north Kerry to allow this happen to it and we're very worried over the high tides due next month and in March. The Yellow Point by the second tee is already badly eroded and if the tides come in again and get behind the seventh tee the golf course will be in serious trouble."
Cllr Beasley is also calling on the council to carry out major protection works in the Cashen and down as far as Kilmore. Homes were flooded in the Cashen two weeks ago and headstones on an old Killeen cemetery in Kilmore were brought down in the storms.
Council staff meanwhile continued their big clean-up along the coast this week, as far as the car-park in Beale which was left strewn with stones and rocks in the aftermath of the storms. Just a short walk further north, however, and part of Beale strand is completely cut off due to flooding.
"We feel a bit forgotten about up here now, as the other beach entrance north of the car-park entrance is completely cut off from the strand," local woman Ita Hannon said.
The Kerryman highlighted on-going problems with flooding in the area of Ballinagar Bridge, a road that links Ballyduff with Lixnaw, but is susceptible to regular flooding by the River Bric.
Locals warned the council there was little point in putting in the new bridge without raising the road due to the problem. Most of the area still remains under water this week with cars and vans attempting the treacherous route at their peril.