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Social Democrats councillor for Rush-Lusk, Paul Mulville, has demanded immediate support for residents whose homes are at acute risk from coastal erosion and flooding in Portrane.

Cllr Mulville said:

“I have serious concern about the lack of urgency from Government about a buyout scheme for the residents, which now must be put in place as a last resort.

“I commend the Council’s efforts to date around the ongoing threat to homes and businesses in the Burrow, Portrane, due to the risk of coastal erosion and flooding. I also welcome reports that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has acted quickly to instigate a cross-department working group on coastal erosion and flooding.

“I am glad that we have now reached the position, following the installation of the temporary interim Seabees, where a long-term Coastal Defence Scheme for Portrane and Rush has been drawn up by the council, on the recommendation of RPS planning and environmental consultants.

“Through the work of the Coastal Liaison Group, working with national stakeholders, the Office of Public Works and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Council commissioned a Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Assessment Report for the Rogerstown outer estuary, as well as an Options Report for addressing Coastal Erosion and Flooding at Portrane and Rush.

“These documents, as well as all documents produced by the Coastal Liaison Group, are publicly available on the Council’s website. Local residents, as well as beach users and any member of the public, are invited to submit their views on the proposals on or before October 16, 2020.

“However, the anger and fear of families living on the brink needs an immediate response. They may not be able to last six months for the Minister’s report, or indeed the outcome of the planning process for the coastal defence scheme, which will take two years at the very least.

“Local families whose homes and business are at imminent risk of collapse due to rapid coastal erosion have had no choice but to appeal for help through the media in recent weeks. They feel an acute sense of anger and desperation and believe they have been abandoned by the authorities.

“The authorities need to look again at what can be done for these homes and businesses which are at risk of immediate collapse. Families are being told that they are not allowed carry out works to protect their homes from erosion, and that they must sit back and let nature take its course. This is not acceptable.

“If our neighbours and friends are being told to sit on their hands and do nothing, then a buyout scheme must be immediately put in place for them so that they can be allowed to secure a new home, similar to what they are accustomed to. This will allow them to move on with their lives without the stress and fear of the sea coming in on top of them.”

September 25, 2020

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