Friday 27 April 2018

Reducing height of sea wall is a 'waste of money'

The flood protection wall being constructed in November 2015 along the Clontarf Road at St. Annes Park
The flood protection wall being constructed in November 2015 along the Clontarf Road at St. Annes Park

Ryan Nugent

Reducing the height of the Clontarf flood defence wall is "short-sighted" and a "waste of taxpayers' money", according to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

City councillors agreed on Monday night that the sea wall height would drop from 4.25 metres to 3.95 metres.

However, a number of city representatives have blasted the decision, with Labour councillor Rebecca Moynihan describing it as "bizarre".

Ms Moynihan said it was really "irresponsible" of the council to reduce the height of the wall.

The drop means that it will now not be in line with national flood defence standards.

The cost of reducing the wall will work out at €230,000, with a further €300,000 for the cost of cladding.

Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke said the decision is "baffling" and called for a council overhaul.

"Reducing the height means that the wall will no longer meet national flood protection standards and defies good and responsible planning," she said.

"We saw in 2011 how real the threat of flooding is to Dublin.

"Since then, Dublin City Council has responded well to ensure that Dublin is equipped to cope in the future, as global warming leads to rising tides.

"This decision serves as a kick in the teeth for other towns and cities in Ireland, which are crying out for better flood defences."

The council decision went against the recommendations of council chief executive Owen Keegan. "It doesn't comply with national coastal flood protection," Mr Keegan said.

It is understood the height of the wall may be revisited in the future and might have to be increased due to climate change and higher tides.

Fine Gael councillor for Clontarf Naoise O Muiri said that the height decrease had already been agreed following a mediation process.

He added that he stood by his vote. "There was a lot of local concern about a barrier," he said.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News