Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow and East Carlow Stephen Donnelly is set to meet with Minister for OPW Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran next week to raise the need for urgent repairs for coastal defences in Arklow.

Last year, Wicklow County Council commissioned a report on the condition of the flood protection measures. That report identified increasing problems in the North Beach defences. Since then, three applications for repairs made by Wicklow County Council have been unsuccessful.

Deputy Donnelly commented, “The coastal defences at the North Beach are badly in need of repairs. I am informed that that there is significant risk to human safety, with large boulders being washed over the existing structure onto the public walkway behind it. On top of that, without these works, there is risk of flooding for a number of homes. Yet again, we are heading into storm season with no fix in place.

“So far, three applications have been made by the council under the Minor Flood Mitigation and Coastal Protection Scheme. The applications submitted proposed the reconstruction of damaged areas of revetment and the raising of the revetment at some locations. The OPW has refused funding on each occasion. A new approach is needed.

“A more detailed coastal erosion risk management study is needed to address the risks the town faces. I will be calling on the minister to support this proposal. With this in place, a greater project, including improvements to the rock armour and return of the beach to its previous condition is needed.”