Flood repair bill rises to €36.8m

Lahinch County Clare after recent storms

Clare County Council has revised upwards its flood repair bill by 55% to €36.8m as a result of further damage brought about by the recent storms.

At the February meeting of the council in Ennis yesterday, county manager Tom Coughlan confirmed that the council has already spent €750,000 in dealing with the damage to date.

He said: “That is money we don’t have and I am very concerned that the bill is mounting very quickly.”

The council last month estimated the repair bill at €23.76m following storms in December and January, but more recent storms have increased that bill by €13m.

The bill does not include the damage to selected private entities, and last night the council put the cost for just four entities — including Doonbeg golf club — at an additional €3.45m.

The Greg Norman-designed Doonbeg links course is currently up for sale by receivers Ernst & Young, and the council report revealed last night that the bill to repair the resort will be €954,447.

The report also confirmed that the cost of works to repair lands in the jurisdiction of the Shannon Airport Authority will cost €1.3m.

Mr Coughlan said “major infrastructural work is required” at public works. “We can’t do a patch-up job,” he said.

County engineer Tom Tiernan said the increase in the bill “is substantial, but the damage is all real and all has to be dealt with”. He said there is frustration over the lack of clarity over what state agency is responsible for what in terms of addressing the flood damage.

The repair bill for Lahinch was put at €6m.

The bill in 11 separate locations will top €1m each. Repairs at the Loop Head village of Kilbaha will cost €3.5m, while works at Cloughaninch, Quilty, will total €4.7m. The bill at New Quay in the Burren is estimated at €3.44m.

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