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A wrecked mobile home at White Strand, Miltown Malbay following the latest high seas and gales. Photograph by John Kelly.

Storm repair costs rising

BEFORE even a puff of wind blew on Wednesday, Clare manager, Tom Coughlan had told a meeting of Clare County Council  that almost €37m was required for repairs following Storms Catherine and Bridget. The latest damage means there will be a further revision of the repair bill.

 The roof from a shed begins to lift at a house near Doonbeg on Wednesday. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

The roof from a shed begins to lift at a house near Doonbeg on Wednesday. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

On Monday, Mr Tom Coughlan said the cash-strapped local authority is spending money it hasn’t really got on repairs.

A report prepared by senior engineer, Tom Tiernan outlined the amounts needed for works in various parts of the county.

According to their figures, €6,064,689 is required for Lahinch, the largest sum for any single area. The townland of Cloughaninchy in Quilty requires a massive €4.716 million, while just shy of €3.5 million is needed for both Kilbaha and New Quay.

Seven figure sums are also required for Doolin, Liscannor, Carrowmore,Whitestrand/Doonmore in Doonbeg, Kilcredaun Irish College and Carrowdotia/N67 Moneypoint.

Overall, 42 areas are identified, requiring a combined total of €33,455,713 and it estimates a contingency of 10% (€3,345,571) coming to €36,801,284.
With regard to Lahinch it stated that there are “four separate components/stages involved in restoring/redeveloping Lahinch infrastructure to a point where it’s appropriately fit for purpose:
*Clean-up and basic repairs to facilitate re-opening of the promenade for public use.
*Further extensive remediation works to ensure that the prom and ancillary facilities are fit for purpose and available for the forthcoming tourism season.
*Coastal protection works on the seaward side of the village and the N67 and
*Upgrading of the existing revetment and promenade area to a standard which will facilitate a level of protection appropriate to the needs and concerns of the users and residents of the area and the resort as a whole.”

It stated that the storm in February had done additional damage “to sea walls, further undermining of promenade walkway, which had already been reinstated since the January storms, drainage repairs, large scale debris removal and disposal and a number of other relatively minor issues.”

A signpost yields to the wind in West Clare. Photograph by Arthur Ellis
A signpost yields to the wind in West Clare. Photograph by Arthur Ellis

With regard to Cloughaninchy, Quilty it stated that most of the works involve the “construction of coastal protection over a length of approximately 2,1250 metres centred around rock armour construction.”
Regarding Kilbaha, the report said that in January, “The force of the sea manifested itself in a very significant way in Kilbaha. Primarily significant sections of the regional road through the village have been undermined or broken up from the top down by relentless wave power. The supporting sea wall has also been seriously undermined and sections of it have been completely removed. Remediation requirements are centred around the total reconstruction of both the Regional Road and the sea wall (sections of which are up to eight metres in height) and additional works include the provision of temporary protection, pier repairs, improvement works to temporary diversion route and extensive clean-up works.”

Regarding the same location in February, it stated that there had been “further extensive damage to sea wall and road already damaged in January storms”.

Damage to the roof of a house in Kilkee. Photograph by Arthur Ellis
Damage to the roof of a house in Kilkee. Photograph by Arthur Ellis

In relation to New Quay, it said there were damages centred around 3,150 metres of public road along the Flaggy Shore. Works required are surface reconstruction and strengthening of the road, watermain rehabilitation, retaining wall reconstruction and the construction of additional sea wall and revetment.

The report said that in February the damage done in January was “significantly exacerbated resulting in need for substantial additional protections, extensive clean up works for a second time and extensive rehabilitation works along route to the Marino Tower.”

Just over €1m is required for Doolin and the report said that in January there was “extensive damage to the infrastructure in the vicinity of and facilitating Doolin Pier – parking areas completely inundated and damaged by rocks and other debris thrown in from the sea, vast areas of pavement ripped from foundations, rock armour dislodged and damage of varying degrees to most other infrastructure including public lighting, public toilet, protective railings etc.”
More damage was done in February and the report said the challenge would be to get what is needed done by the time the tourist season starts at the beginning of April.

With regard to Liscannor the report said that extensive coastal protection works are required, while a lot of work is needed around Liscannor Pier. Works are also required on the R478 between Lahinch and Liscannor.

Minister Simon Coveney with local fishermen, elected representatives and election candidates at Doolin Pier. Photograph by John Kellly
Minister Simon Coveney with local fishermen, elected representatives and election candidates at Doolin Pier. Photograph by John Kellly

Repairs to roads and walls are required at Carrowmore while at Whitestrand/Doonmore in Doonbeg repairs to roads and walls are also required while it said that 700m of existing seawall/retaining structure has been compromised and must be replaced.

At Kilcredaun Irish College retaining wall/gabion defences which provide protection were breached, while there is also a requirement for road reconstruction and resurfacing.

Carrowdotia, N67 Moneypoint requires “extensive provision of retaining wall construction to facilitate support and protection of the N67,” the report also stated.

Owen Ryan

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