Councillors say Clontarf flood defences are urgently neededGary Ibbotson 27 May 2022
Dublin City Councillors have expressed their frustration at the lack of progress in establishing plans for flood defences in Clontarf.
At last week’s North Central Area Committee meeting, Green Party councillor Donna Cooney tabled a motion calling for the convening of the consultative committee set up to draft plans for coastal fortifications.
The committee has not met in a year and Cooney says that it feels “like we are waiting forever to get anything done.”
In her motion Cooney said that “the sea is rising in Dublin Bay at twice the rate previously predicted and yet nothing is planned to protect people and homes in the flood risk areas of Clontarf.”
She said that it was a “cause for concern” that no progress had been made on detailed plans.
In 2002, Clontarf was severely flooded and continues to be at risk if there is a high tide due to a lack of defences.
Previous attempts to install defences, such as in 2011, were shot down by councillors because of the design and nature of the safeguards.
Local residents’ groups also opposed the plans at the time raising concerns that if the proposed sea walls were constructed, the scenic views of the sea and surrounding areas would be lost.
In late 2018, a council proposal to erect 1.6m tall barriers in a dual-wall plan was also objected to by local residents and subsequently shelved.
Local representatives say that the defences should prevent flooding while also retaining the views, and the promenade as a local amenity.
Sculptures and children’s play equipment should be integrated into the plans for the defences, Cooney says.
Fine Gael councillor Naoise Ó Muirí said the matter was “urgent” and all councillors are “looking for the same thing, which is some element of movement on the plan for the seafront.”
Independent councillor John Lyons said Clontarf “is one of the most vulnerable parts of the bay.”
In 2020, Dublin City Council produced plans for new flood defence works in Clontarf but the local authority said at the time that the permanent protections would not be put in place before 2027 and temporary solutions would be used in the interim.
DCC’s project manager Gerard O’Connell said that the Flood Defence Projects Office is drafting up contracts for a consultant to produce designs for the redevelopment of the promenade and the flood-defences
O’Connell said his department is coordinating with city architects, the parks department, and other council departments as well as with Irish Water and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
“We need a multidisciplinary consultants team on board to do all the nitty-gritty and to tie it all together,” he said.
Once the consultants have been hired a planning proposal will be created which will then be submitted to An Bord Pleanala as a Part 10 planning permission.