Army called in after 1,000 flood sandbags vanish

Eimear Cotter

A DUBLIN authority was forced to call in the army to provide an emergency supply of sandbags at the weekend after 1,000 disappeared from two coastal sites.

In preparation for the stormy weather and high tides last weekend, Fingal County Council placed sandbags at the entrances to the sea at Strand Road in Sutton and along the Coast Road in Baldoyle.

The bags were securely in place on Friday evening -- but council officials were shocked to find them gone on Sunday morning.

A council spokeswoman said it was a mystery as to what had happened, adding that a number of passers-by may have thought the sandbags, which were blocking public access ways, were for collection by anyone who needed them.

It is not known if the sandbags were stolen.

The council said it was forced to call in the army to assist them, and the troops supplied 2,000 sandbags from McKee Barracks.

Cllr Anne Devitt (FG) told Monday night's council meeting that the authority was often criticised for being unprepared.


However, she said, in this incident the council had laid the sandbags in advance, but they were taken.

"The council did the work, but this is what we're up against," she said, "I think people should know that."

In preparation for further bad weather this winter, the council has increased its salt barn storage capacity from 940 tonnes to 2,300 tonnes during the course of 2010.

Officials said that deliveries of salt are currently under way and all salt barns will be full before the end of November.

Salt stocks will be replenished on an on-going basis, as required.