The cost of repairing an historic seawall and adjoining road that has already sunk up to six feet in places, could run into millions and and will not be completed even before the end of the summer season.
The news comes as Clare County Council confirmed that it has received none of the money it has requested from central government to cover the estimated cost of damage caused in the January and February storms.
The road at Strand Line in Kilkee has collapsed several feet in one area while a 20ft hight seawall, that dates back to the 19th century, has also been damaged and remains at risk of collapsing on the beach.
Massive concrete kentledge blocks have been placed on the beach at the base of the wall but it’s feared these won’t prevent the structure from collapsing.
With the summer season for many businesses getting underway this week, the Council says it doesn’t expect any remediation works to be completed before August.
“Ground investigation works are ongoing to determine the exact nature of works to be carried out and the cost of same. These works are scheduled to be completed by the end of April,” a spokesman said.
The council has said the exact cost of the works in Kilkee is not yet known but it’s believed removing the wall stone by stone and rebuilding it will cost millions.
In it’s submission to government for funding to cover the cost of storm damage, Clare County Council requested €36.8m of which just €16m has been earmarked. The council has however received nothing of this yet.
The cost of damage caused in Kilkee was estimated in that submission as being €1.3m however this does not include the cost of repairing the seawall.
This has infuriated local business and tourism groups who have already called for an “emergency” to be declared in the popular resort town.
Now, Kilkee Civic Trust has written to the county manager stating: “It is the view of Kilkee Civic Trust that the afore-mentioned Declaration of an Emergency Situation be enacted, so as to commence works forthwith. The Sea Wall, as a Protected Structure, will be better served by this approach.”
Joseph McCloskey of the Trust said: “We believe the Declaration of an Emergency Situation, enabling emergency works, is compatible with the protected legal status of the Sea Wall. It is precisely because the Sea Wall is of such heritage and historical importance that repair works ought to commence forthwith.”
“At present, there are significant Health & Safety issues arising, along with ongoing destruction of the Heritage Sea Wall and its environs. These dangers will be escalated by the approaching summer holiday season, and the influx of visitors. It is profoundly worrying to contemplate the commencement of works while the tourist season is at its height,” the Trust added.