Urgent works required to save the Murrough
A notice of motion from Cllr Gail Dunne has called for urgent action in tackling the level of erosion taking place at the Murrough in Wicklow town.
Cllr Dunne requested that Wicklow County Council provide the members with a detailed report on the coastal erosion that has take place over the last numbers of months at the Murrough. He also asked that members be provided with details of the proposed plan of action and timeframe to further remediate and maintain the coastline in the area.
Addressing the meeting, Cllr Dunne said: 'With the recent storms, the Murrough has just gone from worst to worst. People are talking about 10 to 12 foot going missing in the last storm. It has been continuously put on the long finger and the longer it goes on the worse the erosion gets. It's a very special part of Wicklow town and the county. People use it for recreational purposes and walking, lots of clubs use it for training. There's lots of anglers down there. We have carried out some works before but that's just shoving the problem further up the Murrough.'
Wicklow County Council Chief Executive, Frank Curran informed the meeting that the local authority and Irish Rail would be engaging with one another over a study of the Murrough, with the OPW making a contribution. A consultant will be appointed to carry out the study.
Cllr Derek Mitchell welcomed the study and requested that it go form the Murrough as far up as Bray Head. He said: 'It certainly needs to go up that far. There has been significant erosion all along that coastline.'
Cllr Mary Kavanagh supported Cllr Dunne's motion and was alarmed at the recent storm damaged caused to the popular coastal walk. 'You can see all the damage Storm Emma caused. It has taken huge chunks just washed away to sea. Around 2 metres was lost. One area is so bad it is exactly in the same position it was two or so years ago when Irish Rail had to go in to save the rail line. Wicklow County Council have to go in very quickly to do some remedial works, otherwise it's a disaster waiting to happen.'
Cllr John Snell said it was 'ludicrous' to think that Wicklow County Council had the finances for such works and lambasted a series of TDs, Ministers and MEPs for visiting the site for 'photo opportunities' but never following up with any requests for funding for protection works, especially EU financial support.
'The Murrough has always been the crown in the jewel of east Wicklow, yet I am flabbergasted people are going on about Wicklow County Council putting a sticking plaster over the problem. That won't help. Lots of money has been put into protecting the Murrough over the past 18 months and it has saved a section, but it hasn't saved it all. The reality is we have had Ministers and sitting TDs visiting the Murrough for photo opportunities and then just forgetting about it. We have had an MEP visiting here promising EU money but have heard nothing back since. To call on Wicklow County Council to carry out the work is ludicrous. It will take a lot more than sound-bites and photo opps to protect the Murrough.'
Cllr Snell proposed that the Council write to Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and ask for an update on what the plan is regarding protection for the Murrough, as well as asking if any approach over EU funding has taken place yet.