The Office of Public Works (OPW) has approved funding of €367,740 for installation of "rock armour cliff toe protection" to help combat erosion at Seaview, Kilmore, Co Wexford.
Coastline in the area has lost more than 10 metres due to erosion since last winter while large chunks of it disappeared during storms earlier this year. It placed 14 houses in the area at immediate risk, with homeowners potentially soon losing access to their homes if not the homes themselves.
Plans were in place to install protective measures at the beach while Wexford County Council awaited funding from the OPW towards coastal protection works for the area.
The council had also been developing a slipway to give access to the beach at Seaview, as the original slipway was destroyed by storms in 2012 and 2013.
One of the homes at Seaview was on sale last year for €550,000. It was described as being “located just steps from the ocean in Kilmore, Co Wexford” with “some of the most spectacular sea views in the south-east”.
Announcing approval of the council’s application for the funding, under the OPW’s minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection scheme, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan was “pleased these works will proceed without delay and will help to protect the cliff frontage immediately adjacent to the access road to 14 properties at immediate risk of erosion”.
Wexford County Council chief executive Tom Enright noted that the county's "extensive sandy coastline is highly vulnerable to erosion" and that it had "developed a coastal protection scheme at Seaview, Kilmore to manage the risk of coastal erosion to 14 properties and their access road".
Expressing the council’s appreciation for OPW funding, he said the the emergency works at Seaview, Kilmore would “form part of the overall coastal protection scheme”.
Cllr Jim Moore, chair of Rosslare Municipal District who represents the area, said there had been “a remarkable acceleration of erosion in the area which has caught everyone by surprise”. He said “huge storms in 2014 meant that since all the coastlines in Ireland and the UK are no longer the same.”
In Wexford, “the erosion is very aggressive and we are losing land weekly because it’s just soil and mud. It’s a real problem,” he said.
He was very appreciative of the visit by Mr O’Donovan and Mr Enright who accompanied him to the Seaview area on Tuesday where they met local people.