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Dublin: 22 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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The battle of the Dublin Bay seawall has taken a fresh new twist

The council says there’ll be an independent review but that the wall IS needed.

Motorists' views across Dublin Bay from North Dublin will be impacted by the new wall.
Motorists' views across Dublin Bay from North Dublin will be impacted by the new wall.
Image: Flickr/MartinMurphy

THE BATTLE OVER the controversial sea wall along the coast road looking out over Dublin Bay in north Dublin has taken a fresh twist.

Dublin City Council has been dealing with a campaign against it by residents and local politicians and have agreed to a review, but still insist the wall is needed.

The works will increase the height of the seawall from the Wooden Bridge at Seafield Road in Clontarf to the Causeway Road in Raheny.

The height of the increase is between 20cm and 80cm at various points along the stretch but locals are complaining on a number of grounds.

They say that the area itself is not prone to flooding, that the proposed height increase is too large, and that they weren’t properly consulted about the council’s plans.

Planning permission was granted for the work with notices placed in the area and the plans put on display in the local Raheny library.

In a letter to councillors this week by John Morrissey of the Dollymount Sea Scouts Re-building Project, the campaigner argues that the measurements Dublin City Council used to set the height of the wall are faulty.

Morrissey said the proposed height of the wall, measured above sea level, is higher than other similar flood defences in the area and the city.

“There has never been any seaward originating flooding between the Bull Bridge and the Causeway. This only occurs on the Clontarf side of the Bull Bridge,” he says in the letter.

PastedImage-42201 Source: Dublin City Council

Morrissey adds that the chance of the seaward flooding is so remote that, on balance, the views across Dublin Bay should not be interfered with:

If there are one or two relatively minor “statistical outlier” floods within 200 years that do damage to a limited number of houses or businesses, or that require the more vulnerable points to be temporarily “sandbagged”, it is probably worthwhile from a societal perspective incurring those costs if it keeps access to the views and amenity which are such a fundamental part of the identity and character of the area.

Another local resident campaigning to stop the wall, Conor Morrissey, put together a video showing how views will be impacted.

seawall Source: Youtube

For its part, Dublin City Council has been clear in its assessment that, while it accepts some views will be affected, protection is needed.

“The City Council is regularly criticised for its actions, sometimes justifiably so, but our brief is to take a strategic approach to issues which have a general effect on the citizens of Dublin,” the council said in a statement this week.

“These decisions can sometimes have a limited adverse effect on a limited number of citizens. In this case, the flood defence wall will impede the view of the sea currently enjoyed by motorists (the view enjoyed by pedestrians most wheelchair users and cyclists travelling on the sea side of the road will not be affected) for a distance of around four hundred metres.”

“The benefit is that the people of the Clontarf area will be protected from tidal flooding for many years to come,” the council adds.

Despite its insistence that the wall is needed, the council has decided to invite an “independent expert” to look over the information that led to its decision to erect the wall.

The expert will also provide an opinion on whether the proposed height increase is proportionate.

Dublin City Council also addressed concerns about the use of concrete for the walls and examined whether proposals to use reinforced glass would be workable. It concluded that it would not.

Read: Dublin City Council has called a snap meeting and there’s just one topic on the agenda >

Read: Dubliners worry this view will be blocked by a seawall that’s ‘sprung up like the Berlin Wall’ >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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