A HOTELIER in Clonakilty is conducting her own informal research about the ‘disappearing’ sand dunes at Inchydoney.
Dena O’Donovan, part owner of a family run hotel at Pearse Street in Clonakilty, spent all of her summers at Inchydoney and she now lives there full time.
Recent photographs she took of life buoys that had fallen on the sand because the dunes beneath them had been eroded, and other dramatic photographs featuring exceptionally high tides cutting off Inchydoney island, have sparked alarm in the locality.
Dena confirmed to The Southern Star that she is a member of the Inchydoney Residents Association and that people are calling on Cork County Council to sit up and take notice of what is happening.
To copperfasten the point she is making about the dramatic decline of the dunes over the last 20 to 30 years, Dena has appealed to people to send her copies of old holiday snaps taken at the beach.
‘Even photographs taken in recent years could prove helpful in determining just how much of the dunes have been lost to storms and high tides,’ she said.
She added that people can drop copies of their own snaps into the hotel or send her a private message on Facebook.
In the meantime, Dena admitted she is not unduly worried because she believes sand dune erosion is ‘a natural phenomenon.’
‘Let’s just say I am not having sleepless nights, but I do think something should be done because it seems as if a high tide is enough to take a chunk out of the dunes.’
Whatever happens, Dena said she is adamant that she does not want to see the waterfront filled with rock cages. ‘It would spoil it,’ she said.
‘For now, the most pressing issue is for Cork County Council to retrieve and reset the life buoys further back into the dunes because at this rate they are disappearing one by one.’
In a statement this week, Cork County Council said: ‘The movement of sand dunes by weather events and tides is a natural occurrence. Cork County Council does not think that it is appropriate to construct any artificial structure that would interfere with this natural occurrence. The periodic movement of sand dunes means that Cork County Council will have to reposition Ringbuoys and other signs to reflect these movements.’