Kilkee sea wall at risk of collapse while road sinks

The road on the Strand Line In Kilkee, which has been slowly subsiding. Picture: Noel Gavin/Press 22

A 19th century sea wall is at risk of collapsing onto one of the west’s most popular beaches while the adjacent road continues to sink after being damaged in the recent storms.

The road at Strand Line in Kilkee, Co Clare, has been closed amid safety concerns as it has sunk by up to three feet in some places.

There are serious concerns now for the stability of the 20ft sea wall which was also undermined by the massive sea surges during the February 1 storm.

Local businesses want Clare County Council to undertake repairs and reopen the road as soon as possible. However, the local authority says it’s waiting for funding from the Government and that no timeframe has been decided for any such works.

President of Kilkee Chamber of Commerce and local hotelier Johnny Redmond said: “The sea surges got in under the wall and road where there was no protection. As it is, it’s all very unstable and could fall right onto the beach.

“The season starts around Easter for many businesses here so people want to see this work carried out as soon as possible. Businesses will be seriously affected if the road is kept closed,” he said.

Mr Redmond also said locals are angry that so much money is being sought for repairs in Lahinch where a clear-up operation got under way immediately after the first storm in January.

“The park area on the sea front in Kilkee is still covered in concreted slabs and debris, whereas Lahinch was cleaned up straight away. Nothing has been done here and it doesn’t look good for visitors. Also, the council is looking for over €6m for repairs in Lahinch while Kilkee will get only €800,000 if it’s approved,” Mr Redmond added.

A spokesman for the council said: “The council has engaged a specialist consulting engineer to assess the seawall and Strand Line. The assessment has been completed and the council is now looking to engage a specialist contractor to stabilise the structure.

“A timeline regarding these proposed works has yet to be decided. The cost of undertaking structural stabilisation works will be subject to funding being made available by Central Government.

“Clare County Council is currently awaiting a response in this regard.”

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