The expertise of the Dutch in reclaiming land from the sea is needed to save one of Ireland’s most iconic and legendary beaches, a meeting has been told.
Rossbeigh beach, the largest strand in south Kerry, and a blue flag beach of world renown was rapidly eroding and surrounding soft cliffs had sunk and were in danger of collapse.
The breach of the Rossbeigh sand-spit in January 2008, during a huge winter storm, had led to a change in currents and a sand bar off shore had now built up while inland there was more and more erosion.
“We need the expertise of how to take the land back from the sea,” local councillor Michael Cahill (FF) told a meeting of the Kenmare Municipal District held in Cahersiveen on Friday morning.
He warned that inshore areas, low lying, were already suffering and these included the village of Cromane and Dooks . These are already suffering from flooding.
“If Rossbeigh goes it’s going to create problems for all the low land areas. There are serious flood ing issues in this area already and it is already escalating with global warming.”
Dutch surveyors who visited Rossbeigh already advised taking sand from the off shore sand bank which had built up since with the erosion of the past 12 years and building up the shore and sand dunes at Rossbeigh.
Council engineers said they would undertake a review of a number of studies including a 2014 coastal flood and erosion management study of the Dingle -Castlemaine Harbour area where Rossbeigh is located.
This review would identify further studies and would take 12 months.
Cllr Cahill was joined by other councillors in calling for the expertise from the Netherlands to be invited to contribute.
Erosion had not received the priority it deserved by successive Governments, the meeting was told.
The whole area inland with hundreds of houses would “be all sea” shortly if urgent action was not taken.
The two mile long spit first breached in 2008 now has a yawning gap . A special area of conservation, with a system of protected dunes, Rossbeigh is also an important wintering ground for Brent Geese and other species. In mythology it is where Oisin left for Tir na n-Og.