Cork County Council is to seek urgent funding to restore a section of a seawall that collapsed last week.
Coastal erosion reportedly caused parts of the wall to fall 40ft on to rocks in Youghal.
The 5m collapse occurred within a short stretch between Youghal lighthouse and Moll Goggin’s Corner in the town centre. The wall bordered the public footpath leading to the inner beach known as Front Strand.
The sudden lunchtime collapse last Wednesday left a gaping hole in the 1m-high wall that also forms part of the Slí na Sláinte walking trail.
Gardaí and council staff were swiftly at the scene and protective wire fencing has been put up.
Youghal town clerk Liam Ryan said there had been no injuries.
The county council’s senior executive engineer at Cork County Council Dave Clarke says a report by JODA Engineering Consultants, Cork, will include assessment of the stability of the adjacent road and will be forwarded with an application for emergency funding to the OPW.
“Given the location, the potential for further deterioration and the threat to public safety, we are treating this as a matter of urgency and would hope to issue a contract to address the immediate problem very soon,” he said.
The collapse, the council said, reflected an accelerating threat of structural deterioration in the scenic, windswept area.
Two extended viewing balconies have also been fenced off in recent years amid evidence of subsidence.
Following the closure of the second viewing balcony in 2009, a survey commissioned by Cork County Council concluded that a new retaining wall needed to be installed, at a cost of about €180,000.
Mr Clarke said costing had not been finalised for the immediate work but confirmed that the county council would be renewing funding applications with regard to erosion in the general vicinity.
An emergency pathway has been installed at the scene and while two-way traffic remained in force, Mr Clarke said traffic management was “under constant review”.
He has also advised the public to steer clear of the strand area beneath the collapse.
“It remains an area prone to further collapse and there is also the danger of being cut off by a fast incoming tide.”
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