Calls for council to speed up process of applying for coastal protection funding

There are calls for Kerry County Council to speed up the process of applying for coastal protection works funding.

Sinn Féin Cllr Toireasa Ferris and Fianna Fáil Cllr John Lucid both asked what projects have been identified for OPW funding at the recent county council meeting, saying the local authority has failed to help communities at risk.

Cllr Toireasa Ferris claims the Flooding and Coastal Protection Unit, which was set up by the Kerry County Council last year, has done nothing to help communities at risk.

She says examples of this are the landbank between Fenit Island and Fenit, and the Banna sand dunes, which have both been compromised.

She wants the council to speed up the process and apply for funding from the OPW, and to look at EU funding as an alternative.

Cllr John Lucid says serious damage was done to Ballyheigue in 2014, but the council has yet to undertake the necessary Coastal Erosion Risk Management Study to apply for funding.

Kerry County Council says coastal erosion requires detailed specialist studies, and they’ve partnered with UCC and NUIG on sourcing EU funding.

They say OPW coastal protection funding is very limited, and is unlikely to be provided without detailed Coastal Erosion Risk Management Studies.

The council intends to engage with the OPW and seek funding for some of these studies by mid-2017.