independent

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Burrow family is living on the edge

'We won't give up on our home'

Grainne Hannigan, Lawrence Murray, Amy Hannigan and Aaron Weafer at the property in Portrane which is under threat from coastal erosion.
Grainne Hannigan, Lawrence Murray, Amy Hannigan and Aaron Weafer at the property in Portrane which is under threat from coastal erosion.
Grainne Hannigan and Amy Hannigan

John Manning

A family whose home now lies just two feet from the cliff edge in Portrane after Storm Emma ravage the coastline at the weekend, say they are 'not prepared yet' to give up their home.

A home in the Burrow, Portrane is now lying perilously close to the edge and is at real risk of falling into the sea after Storm Emma took more coastline from this sea-ravaged part of the county which has seen vast chunks of land disappear into the sea, in recent years.

A home that contains three generations of one family is most threatened by the continued erosion at The Burrow and now lies only a few short feet from the edge of the cliff.

The owner of the home is Grainne Hannigan who lives in threatened house with her daughter, Amy, her granddaughter Fay and Aaron Weafer.

Despite advice from Fingal County Council to leave the home, the family are staying put but are restricted to living at the front of the house with the rear of the property exposed to the sea and perhaps only one or two storms away from falling in.

An exasperated Gráinne told the Fingal Independent: 'It's all very well saying just let the house wash into the sea but this is my home and if that happens, we are homeless.'

The resident of the sea-ravaged Burrow area of Portrane said if the sea claims the house then 'the whole of Healy's Lane' will be opened up to erosion and further properties will be threatened. 'Where is it going to stop?' she asked.

Gráinne appealed for more help from the council and from Government who she said have not done enough to stem the tides at the Burrow or to help her save her family home. 'All we have been offered is sandbags and we have to fill those ourselves. They tell us its private property and it's our own responsibility,' Gráinne said.

She wants hard engineering measures taken now to stop further erosion at the Burrow and the family have looked into taking those kind of measures themselves but Gráínne acknowledges those measures 'may not fit in with the environment'.

In the short-term, Gráinne said she wants to see JCB's backfilling the ravaged coastline under her home and the temporary barrier the family had built there restored. She says those are short-term measures 'but less short-term than sandbags'.

Asked if it inevitable the family will have to abandon their home, Gráinne said: 'It looks increasingly likely but we are not prepared to quite give up yet. Even if our property goes, there are houses behind me so where does it stop?'

Fingal Independent

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