Locals fear Ballybunion road collapse

Dnal Nolan

A SCENIC road running above the Ladies' Beach in Ballybunion's is now in danger of collapsing after the area was undermined by a landslide last month, locals are warning.

Cracks have now started to appear on the Cliff Road just weeks after tonnes of earth slid from the cliffs below in a massive landslide that followed months of persistent rain.

Locals are urgently calling on Kerry County Council to address the threat to the Cliff Road by building a retaining wall to prop up the cliff face. They fear that a large section of the Cliff Road could collapse onto the Glin Road, which provides access to the Ladies' Beach, unless the remedial work is carried out.

"The last time any meaningful protection work was carried out on part of the cliffside was 72 years' ago and it is high time that Kerry County Council addressed our current fears," local Sinn Féin County Councillor Robert Beasley said.

"Months of intensely wet weather have undermined the cliff face and the biggest threat now is that we could see the Cliff Road simply sliding down onto the Glin Road," he warned.

Business owners in the area immediately affected are becoming increasingly anxious about the situation. Most of them are involved in tourist-related enterprises, including the Cliff House Hotel, the Salmon Lodge and a number of bed and breakfasts and they fear another landslide would force the council to close the entire Cliff Road which is a major link in the town's one-way system as well as part of the Wild Atlantic Way route.

"It's a stunning road with a viewing area looking out over the Ladies' Beach and a wall that was capped in such a way as to provide seated space for visitors.

"If it's closed it could prove disastrous for tourism in the town as it is the main road accessing the Ladies' Beach, not to mention all the residents up Doon Road who rely on it to get home," said Cllr Beasley.

The council widened the footpath on the coastal side of the Cliff Road more than seven years ago in an effort to keep the weight of traffic off the cliff top. However, with the roadside wall now cracking up it is clear that more work is needed urgently.

"It's high time a retaining wall was put in. People are very worried about it and to be honest I'm disappointed that Kerry County Council appears to be sitting on it," Cllr Beasley added.


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