Kerry County Council said it will provide assistance to the households cut off by a landslide overlooking Rossbeigh Strand in Kerry.
Seventeen houses are effectively cut off and have no vehicle access following the landslide which saw serious road slippage on the cliffside in the cul-de-sac.
County council area engineers and local councillors were at the scene on what is known as “the Cliff Road” — on a hillside overlooking the Blue Flag beach of Rossbeigh strand and Dingle Bay.
In a statement, the council said while the road had to be closed for safety reasons, it would do all it could to facilitate pedestrians.
An application for emergency funding is being submitted to the Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport to help provide an alternative access.
The houses, a mix of residential and holiday homes, have been sounding warning bells for some time about the threat of erosion from waves at the base of the cliff, winds, and frost. The road was already vulnerable and had slipped in the storms of 2014.
Heavy rainfall over the weekend saw the Cliff Road slip a further 3.6m on Tuesday, making it impossible for vehicular access.
Local councillor Michael Cahill said the people were effectively cut off and could only reach their houses on foot.
He said he had called on the Office of Public Works for some years to address the issue of erosion, but he said he felt his calls had not been taken seriously.
“The situation has gone from bad to worse. I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to provide proper funding for coastal protection,” Mr Cahill said.
The cliff is soft and difficult to protect and needs around €500,000 in funding to shore up the road to allow people get to their homes.
Kerry County Council this week agreed on a proposal by Mr Cahill to seek a derogation or an exemption altogether on property tax for people in flood-prone areas between Rossbeigh and across to Cromane in Dingle.
In a statement, Kerry County Council said “Following a preliminary assessment of the Cliff Road in Rossbeigh, further coastal erosion was observed which has caused undermining and a short section of this local road has collapsed.”
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