Clare County Council has admitted that current sea defences in Quilty, Spanish Point and the White Strand Beach in Miltown Malbay are not sufficient to deal with a repeat of the adverse flooding in early 2014.
At this week’s West Clare District meeting, Councillor Michael Hillery asked that the council “would present a progress report on the coastal protection works” at the the three locations.
“The existing sea defences at all three areas are inadequate to withstand a similar storm to that of January 2014 again. To that end, funding is approved for by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for a single coastal erosion and flood risk management study for the section of coast from Quilty to Milltown Malbay, with particular focus on each of the three locations – Quilty, Spanish Point and Whitestrand,” council engineer Stephen Lahiffe explained in a written reply.
“The scope of the consultant’s study must accord with the OPW’s guidance for such studies. Standard public procurement procedures must be used by Clare County Council to commission the consultants. No commitment is being given by OPW to provide funding for any works that the study may recommend.
“Clare County Council is currently in the tender process to appoint consultants for the project. It is expected that a consultant will be appointed in August and a feasibility study completed by December 2015 or January 2016,” Mr Lahiffe added.
The council engineer outlined, earlier in his reply, the extent of the work already completed.
“The restoration work following the damage by the storms of January and February 2015 is practically complete in the three locations referred to. At Whitestrand, the slipway and seawall have been reconstructed at the eastern side. The new Life Saving Training Centre has been completed by Clare Water Safety in association with Clare County Council and this incorporated a new lifeguard station and public toilets. The public car park and associated drainage has been repaired and altered to service the new training centre. A major upgrade of the culvert is practically complete,” he explained.
“At Spanish Point the viewing platform, decking and sea defences have been completely replaced. Work is ongoing on the repair of the public toilets, shelter and old lifeguard station. The pedestrian bridge and railings have also been replaced.
“At Quilty, the existing stone retaining wall that defends the N67 and the village has been underpinned to secure the foundations. The section of wall damaged during the storm has been repaired,” Mr Lahiffe added.