Residents of Banna have told a meeting that we are facing a total demise of the area due to neglect.
The deputation was addressing a meeting of the Tralee Municipal District. Landowners in the area signed a contract in 1995 for protection works to be carried out by the state but no action has been taken. Pat Lawlor, a teacher from Carrahane in Banna, told councillors that ten metres of sand dunes have been washed away by the sea in the past two years which contributed to the local access road being flooded for two months recently.
Mr Lawlor said residents have been highlighting the issue for over 20 years with some leaving their homes and there is a legal obligation on the state to protect Banna adding that we are facing fines if we don’t act. Residents believe an embankment and a restoration programme for sand dunes is needed and pointed to the success of rock armour in Barrow. Cllr Norma Foley said up to 50 families in the area have been falling between a rock and a hard place for years with no agency taking a leading role and she said now it is time for Kerry County Council to that that role. Cllr Toireasa Ferris suggested that councillor’s allocations could be committed to a coastal protection works plan and asked for a report for the next meeting on smaller works that can be done including setting grass. Cllr Pat McCarthy called for the council to request representatives of the OPW and relevant Government Departments to address the municipal district on the matter. Cllr Jim Finucane said a dedicated position should be created in the local authority to seek European Union funding for this and other such projects. Area Manager Charlie O’Sullivan said the council were bound by legislation but were committed to employing consultants with the support of the OPW to carry out a coastal zone management study this year.