Monday 17 June 2019

Mounting concern over erosion of dunes

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo County Council meeting

Fine Gael Councillor Sinead Maguire has urged the Council to take "immediate" remedial action to protect both the public and the dunes at Strandhill and Rosses Point.

Her motion also urged the Council to erect more signs to alert people to the danger to prevent a serious accident from happening.

She was seconded by Fianna Fáil Councillor Tom MacSharry.

Acting Director of Services Tom Brennan told members that so much erosion had taken place at the dunes north of the beach car park that a storm water manhole that was within the dunes 25 years ago is now an isolated tower approx. 10-15 metres seaward of the dune line today.

Mr Brennan said fencing and signs were erected south of the sewage treatment plant and on land next to the caravan park two years ago in a bid to discourage walkers.

The Council has also applied to the OPW for funding for "Continued Dune Management" and for a study of the coastal area.

Long term options are to either do nothing and allow the dunes to retreat inland or 'holding the line' using expensive rock armour.

Mr Brennan also pointed out that the dunes at Rosses Point second beach were privately owned but they were working with County Sligo Golf Club to protect the beach and dunes.

Cllr Maguire said it was cheaper to use rocks already there as rock armour at Strandhill and said the posts and signs at Rosses Point were falling down: "They need to be maintained because they're creating part of the problem."

Cllr MacSharry encouraged Cllr Maguire as a Government Councillor to seek funding for possible 'soft' engineering works on the southern side of the car park in Strandhill.

Council Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes said it was more than a funding issue and said the debate nationally was about who takes the lead in coastal erosion.

"Rock armour is not so simple - that could affect the coastline further down," he said.

Sligo Champion