Funding for Kilkee promenade repairs remains unclear
Gateway to award-winning Loop Head peninsula still awaits repairs to ‘Strand Line’
Storm damage at Kilkee, Co Clare
Four months after storms devastated Kilkee’s Strand Line promenade, Clare County Council has said it still has no certainty over Government funding for repairs. The roadway and an area of beach immediately below the Strand Line has been fenced off and large “keep out” signs are in place. Major repairs to sea walls, pavements and beach furniture have been carried out and tourism interests are anxious to point out that “Kilkee is open for business”.
Locals say they are resigned to not having the Strand Line repaired in time for this summer’s tourist season, but are hopeful works will get under way in September.
The seaside town is a major tourist attraction in west Clare, a gateway to the tourism award-winning Loop Head peninsula and a key staging post on the new Wild Atlantic Way.
Johnny Redmond, whose Strand House guesthouse and restaurant overlook the Strand Line, said it was ironic that Kilkee was promoted as part of the Wild Atlantic Way when the roadway in front of his premises was closed.
Mr Redmond said Minister for Environment Phil Hogan, stayed in the Strand House when canvassing in the local and European elections andassured locals that money would be provided for the repairs. This week the Department of Environment said almost €17 million had been allocated to Co Clare in February, and referred questions on spending to the county council and the Office of Public Works.
However Tom Tiernan, senior engineer at the council, said the money was allocated for storm damage when Co Clare was battered in January of this year. Kilkee, which was hit in February, was not covered by this allocation, he said.