MEMBERS of the public could be trapped by a rising tide on Inchydoney beach due the collapsing sand dunes, a local councillor has warned.
Both walkers and swimmers could be trapped, said Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind), who has repeatedly expressed concerns about the rapid rate of erosion of the dunes, but he said he only recently became aware of the latest danger.
He estimated that between nine and 10 metres of the dunes have been lost in the last 18 months, while a further 10ft was gouged out of the dune-face after recent storms.
Sharing a photograph with Council officials at an online meeting of the Western Committee, Cllr Hayes showed how the dunes are now 10m above the beach.
The photograph shows a sheer drop, which would make it difficult for a person to quickly and safely get off the beach and avoid the rising tide. ‘There are now only two points where people can scramble up,’ he said, describing how the tide comes up to the cliff face.
Divisional county manager Clodagh Henehan informed the councillors that the dunes are not owned by the Council, but are in private ownership.
Senior Council official Mac Dara O h-Icí, said the local authority would, in the short-term, ‘look at signposting’ the agreed routes to the beach.
Mr O h-Icí said the Council would also establish its own internal committee to address the concerns.
Cllr Hayes was of the opinion that more needs to be done, and urgently. He suggested the placing of rock armour on the beach, which comes under the Council’s jurisdiction, because metres are being lost from the fixed dune system.
‘If it keeps going at this rate, the water will be lapping up on the road any time soon,’ he added.