Tuesday 16 July 2019

Burrow reaches 'crisis point' and urgent action is needed

After visiting the devastation wrought to the coastline of the Burrow at the weekend, a local councillor has called for immediate action to save the homes that are at risk in the community.

Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) said: 'As a Portrane man myself, I am absolutely shocked and horrified by the rapid levels of further erosion that have taken place over the weekend in Portrane.'

Cllr Henchy said he 'empathised' with the local community's view that there has been 'unacceptable levels of slow to no progress that is being made in addressing this very serious situation'.

He added: 'No more talking, no more visits - we are well past the time to finally see tangible actions taking place.'

The local councillor said: 'I will once again be demanding immediate urgent action from Fingal County Council and the Government.'

The Government and Fingal County Council have come in for heavy criticism in recent days from local who say not enough is being done to protect the coastline or to save homes for disappearing into the sea like the one occupied by the Hannigan family who spoke to the Fingal Independent this week.

Gráinne Hannigan, whose home lies just a couple of feet from a cliff edge after Storm Emma said the council has told her there is nothing they can do apart from provide sand bags.

The council responded to criticism this week. A spokesperson for the local authority told the Fingal Independent: 'The Council has been engaged with coastal erosion issues in the Portrane area over the weekend and this morning, and several inspections have taken place. Any temporary works to be implemented in the area need to be adequate to deliver protection and therefore require technical assessment. Sandbags will not provide the required protection.'

In the specific case of the Hannigan home, which was a former holiday home which was converted into a family house and has now been permanent home of the Hannigans for 18 years, the council spokesperson said: 'There will be further communication with the householder concerned, local residents and the Fingal Coastal Liaison Group in the coming days.

'The Council will also continue to work with the Fingal Coastal Liaison Group to deliver feasible and appropriate solutions.'

Cllr Henchy said: 'What I witnessed first hand in the last number of days is beyond belief and devastating for the affected residents. To stand in people's homesand see the enormous distress this is having on them and their family is truly devastating'

The local councillor said Goverment ministers had visited the site and done nothing and it was 'completely unacceptable' that homes and businesses are getting 'ever closer to the sea'.

Fingal Independent