Storm damage bill may cost over €1m

David Medcalf

Published 14/01/2014 | 05:38

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A loader attempting to remove rubble off Duncannon Beach following last week’s storms.

Wexford faces a million euro plus bill to repair storm damage to harbours and piers around the county's coast.

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Director of water services Eddie Taaffe revealed the provisional figure on Monday under questioning by Cllr. Malcolm Byrne.

The director said that a list of the damage to harbours caused by the storms which racked the country at the start of the new year had already been drawn up.

The cost of repairs was expected to reach seven figures, he indicated, adding that Wexford County Council has no budget to meet the unexpected bill.

Eddie Taaffe confirmed that Kilmore Quay, Cahore, Ballyhack and Courtown all took a battering from the winds and high seas.

And he indicated that other piers may also have been affected, with the council looking to the Department of the Marine to come up with money to meet the unplanned for cost.

However, he warned that every other coastal county in the State will likely to bee looking for money from the same source. Gorey-based Cllr. Malcolm Byrne was also aware that beaches at Courtown, Curracloe and especially Ballymoney have also been left in a story state by the bad weather.

And Cllr. Jim Moore brought glum tiding of substantial erosion to lands around Kilmore, at places such as Seaview and Ballygranans, to the county council meeting.

The director was reminded that beaches such as Ballymoney are major tourist attractions.

He responded with an assurance that the walkway to the beach at Courtown, a victim of the storms, will be restored without delay.

He hoped that Mother Nature would take a helpful course on the strands and replace some of the lost sand in due course.

Cllr. Robbie Ireton responded that some of this sand was now silting up the harbour in Courtown to such an extent that it will soon have to close.

'Silting up has gone beyond dangerous,' warned the Labour man. 'It is 33 years since the harbour was dredged out properly and it needs to be done.'

Eddie Taaffe assured him that dredging will be carried out but pointed out that the recent bad weather had made it impossible to take action to date.

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