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Roddy shows his commitment in campaign to thwart sea wall

DUBLIN author Roddy Doyle has made an impassioned plea to city councillors to reject the controversial Clontarf flood defence plan as the crucial vote looms.

The Herald revealed last week how city management made a last-ditch bid to persuade councillors to support the plan by offering an exclusive bus tour of the proposed area.

The flood proposal has enraged thousands of Dubliners including family members of the late Gerry Ryan and The Commitments author Mr Doyle.

And the Herald has learned that Mr Doyle -- who was one of 15,000 protesters at last month's rally -- pleaded with councillors to shoot down the proposal on December 5.

In an email to city councillors,he said the view of Dublin Bay in Clontarf "can take the breath away".

"There are few natural or manmade sites in Dublin that can take the breath away. Dublin Bay, however, is beautiful and, depending on the weather, and sometimes because of the weather, it is breath-taking. "I have been to many of the world's most beautiful cities, but the views at Clontarf are unique," wrote the renowned author.

"The view -- the spectacle -- is in many ways a visual history of the city and its people. That is why the possibility of the view being impeded seems, to me, so wrong.

He said night-time use of the promenade would stop if the barrier was built.

"The promenade will be isolated, and will be dangerous, or perceived as dangerous. A planning decision that effectively closes down one of the city's great amenities after dark is, in my opinion, a very bad one," he wrote.

In a rare move, City Manager John Tierney has waived his executive powers in relation to the proposal -- meaning its immediate future is in solely the hands of councillors.

Council sources have admitted that it is "highly unlikely" councillors will back the plan given the huge level of public opposition.

Councillors will then meet to discuss whether to propose a new flood protection scheme.

Clontarf-based councillor Damian O'Farrell told the Herald: "The likelihood is we will call for the council to go back to the drawing board and carry out a full public consultation."

hnews@herald.ie


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