Seán Canney, T.D. Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief visited Portrane and Burrow Beach to see the impact that coastal erosion is having on the area.
During his visit the Minister met with local Deputies Brendan Ryan and Darragh O’Brien and also spoke with local Councillors, residents and property owners.
The Minister said, “I am delighted to have been invited to visit Portrane today to see at first hand the impact that coastal erosion is having on this area. On a broad level, my Office has surveyed and assessed the coastal erosion risk along the entire national coastline and this information has been published and is available to all local authorities. This Study enables local authorities to develop appropriate plans and strategies for the sustainable management of the coastline in their counties, including the identification, prioritisation and, subject to the availability of resources, the implementation of coastal protection works both of a structural and non-structural nature”.
Coastal erosion is a natural and ongoing process which takes place around the entire coastline. The primary objective of Government policy on coastal erosion is to ensure that in areas identified as being at greatest risk of damage or loss of economic assets through coastal erosion or flooding, appropriate and sustainable measures are identified by local authorities to protect those assets and, where such measures are economically justified on cost benefit grounds and compatible with all required environmental and other statutory requirements, they are implemented subject to the availability of resources.
Minister Canney went on to say” My Office operates the minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection scheme under which applications for funding from local authorities to undertake localised works are considered. Funding for coastal erosion risk management studies may also be applied for. Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available for projects which meet the eligibility criteria, including a requirement that the proposed measures are cost beneficial.” Under this Scheme funding of €57,800 was provided in 2012 to Fingal County Council to carry out a Coastal Erosion Risk Management Study of Portrane to Rush which included Burrow Beach. In addition, following the severe storms of Winter 2013/2014 total funding of €200,000 was provided by the OPW to the Council for repair works to damaged coastal protection infrastructure which included projects at Burrow Beach.
Minister Canney concluded, “My Office supports and assists intervention management options which are economically justified on cost benefit grounds and are environmentally sound. I know Fingal County Council is working hard to identify viable solutions to the erosion problem at Portrane and I look forward to receiving proposals from the Council in due course.