Thursday 22 August 2019

Clontarf sea wall is 'cheap and nasty', council is told by residents

A passer-by takes a photograph as a giant wave crashes over the sea wall at Clontarf in Dublin yesterday
A passer-by takes a photograph as a giant wave crashes over the sea wall at Clontarf in Dublin yesterday
Stop the Wall/Save our Seafront protestors outside City Hall

Dublin City Council was forced to open a second public gallery at a packed council meeting about the controversial Clontarf sea wall.

Local resident Rachel Geoghegan said that a new solution needed to be found.

"Everyone in the community is together in wanting the wall to be changed because it's too high," she said.

"Something a lot better could be done if we all put our heads together, instead of throwing up a cheap and nasty option."

Meanwhile, Mary Moriarty said she fears that the wall is "going to attract anti-social behaviour behind it".

Dozens of protestors stood outside City Hall last night ahead of the meeting, some carrying signs that read: Stop the ugly sea wall.

Independent councilllor Damian O'Farrell, who organised the meeting, said planning stipulations, including the need for an environmental committee to be established, had not been fulfilled.


City council chief executive Owen Keegan admitted that the committee had not been set up. He said that BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service did not have staff to allocate to the committee, but that due to the strength of feeling in the area the committee should now be established.

Mr Keegan said the row over the wall showed that there were "lessons to be learned" around the public consultation process but denied that the council mislead locals about the wall.

He said he was satisfied that council was in compliance with planning regulations.

Mr O'Farrell highlighted a 2012 public consultation document which included an artist's impression of the wall at its highest point, which was different from what is being built, he said.

An official from DCC's flood section told councillors that there is a projected risk of coastal flooding in the area.

Gerard O'Connell also said that he had investigated how much glass panels would cost.

Panels that could sustain wave impact were still at a prototype stage, he said.

It would cost around €3m to install glass panels along the 460m stretch where the wall is at its highest, he explained.

Several representatives said that the outrage over the wall showed that the public consultation wasn't effective.

TD Aodhan O'Riordain has asked Environment Minister Alan Kelly to review the process, the meeting heard.

A motion was agreed to ensure that the council would comply with all regulations.

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