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'Expertise of the Dutch' needed to save iconic beach

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Rossbeigh in Co Kerry is a blue-flag beach of world renown

Rossbeigh in Co Kerry is a blue-flag beach of world renown

Rossbeigh in Co Kerry is a blue-flag beach of world renown

The expertise of the Dutch in reclaiming land from the sea is needed to save one of Ireland's most iconic and legendary beaches, a meeting has been told.

Rossbeigh beach, the largest strand in south Kerry and a blue-flag beach of world renown, was rapidly eroding and surrounding soft cliffs had sunk and were in danger of collapse.

Already there had been a road collapse.

The breach of the Rossbeigh sand-spit in January 2008, during a huge winter storm, had led to a change in currents and a sand bar offshore had now built up while inland there was more and more erosion.

"We need the expertise of how to take the land back from the sea," local councillor Michael Cahill told a meeting of the Kenmare Municipal District held in Cahersiveen yesterday morning.

He warned low-lying inshore areas were already suffering and these included the village of Cromane and Dooks. These are already suffering from flooding. "If Rossbeigh goes it's going to create problems for all the lowland areas. There are serious flooding issues in this area already and it is already escalating with global warming," he said.

Dutch surveyors who visited Rossbeigh already advised taking sand from the offshore sand bank which had built up with the erosion of the past 12 years, and building up the shore and sand dunes at Rossbeigh.

Council engineers said they would undertake a review of a number of studies including a 2014 coastal flood and erosion management study of the Dingle-Castlemaine Harbour area where Rossbeigh is located.

This review will take 12 months.

Irish Independent