Sunday 16 December 2018

Further five metres of the Murrough lost to the sea

Storm Emma caused further damage to the Murrough.
Storm Emma caused further damage to the Murrough.

Myles Buchanan

Two days of constant battering from the sea has resulted in huge swathes of the Murrough being washed away.

An estimated five metres has disappeared heading northwards due to high tides and strong easterly winds caused by last week's Storm Emma.

The popular coastal walk has been decimated by bad weather in recent years, but the damage caused on Thursday and Friday is amongst the worst witnessed yet.

Ned Cussen of Friends of the Murrough visited the area in the aftermath of the storm and was shocked at the amount of devastation caused.

'There is only around a metre to the Monkey Pole left. Another bit of a storm and the Monkey Pole will be gone too. Huge big chunks of the Murrough are now missing and huge big rocks were thrown around everywhere. The waves had to be ferocious to cause that sort of damage.

'Large clumps of grass were washed away by the sea and then thrown back up again by the waves. To be honest, I was surprised at how severe the damage was. If this continues, there won't be any Murrough left.'

Prior to the storm, Mr Cussen had measured the distance from the Monkey Pole to the beach to be six metres. Now there is just over a metre left.

'People often say that one metre of the Murrough is lost each year. Well this time five metres was lost over two days. You are talking around 16 foot gone over two nights. The erosion is getting very close to the Irish Rail fence.'

In January 2016, Irish Rail had to carry out emergency works because severe damage caused to the Murrough during Storm Frank was threatening the railway line.

Wicklow County Council was also awarded funding for coastal protection works, but Mr Cussen would like to see the works extended further up along the coast.

'The defence works actually worked very well,' said Mr Cussen.

'They were very effective and stood up very well. The problem is that the works need to continue. As it stands, probably only about one tenth of the works really required are in place to protect the Murrough,' he said.

Wicklow People