Wicklow People

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Calls for funding for North Beach repairs

A call has been made for funding to carry out repairs of the coastal walk at the North Beach in Arklow to be identified.

Speaking at their March meeting, members of the Arklow Municipal District voiced their disappointment at a decision to turn down an application for funding for repairs at the popular coastal walk.

Councillor Sylvester Bourke (FG) spoke about the 'disappointment' in the Arklow Municipal District that an application to the Department of Community and Rural Development had been turned down.

'This is a huge issue in the district,' he said, calling on the council to explore ways to fund repairs of the coastal stretch from its own resources.

Cllr Pat Fitzgerald (FF) said an 'excellent application' had been made for funding to the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure (ORI) scheme. He also raised concerns about the level of funding allocated to Wicklow under the scheme, compared against other counties.

Cllr Fitzgerald said this was a 'health and safety issue that needs to be looked at' as 'hundreds use that walk'.

'There has to be some means to get this repaired,' Cllr Fitzgerald stated, adding that repairs 'have to be done quickly for the safety of people in the area'.

Cllr Tommy Annesley (FF) highlighted that the North Beach area of Arklow is home to the Arklow Bay Hotel and the Bridgewater Shopping Centre, which are both 'serious ratepayers' to the local authority'

'These all back on this walkway and for us to say we do not have the funding'.

He indicated that local builders had approached him offering to tender for the works.

Cllr Peir Leonard (Ind) spoke about the importance of the walk to the local community. She said the council had invested money in the area including the installation of outdoor exercise equipment around the Duckpond.

'What else can be done by us?' Cllr Miriam Murphy (Ind) asked, suggesting the situation was beyond the responsibility of the council at this stage. She said there was a need to lobby the county's five TDs for support. Cllr Murphy stated that people come from the surrounding areas to use facilities at the North Beach including the skate park and leisure centre.

'Whoever's door we need to knock on, we need to knock now,' she added.

Wicklow County Council Chief Executive Frank Curran said he was 'disappointed' that funding had not be allocated for the North Beach repairs, but the council would look at other potential sources of funding for the works.

Wicklow People