Councillors vote to spend €230,000 to reduce coastal wall height so motorists can see the sea

The coastal wall (left) when the S2S cycle route was under construction.

Dublin City councillors have voted to spend €230,000 to reduce the height of a newly built sea wall so motorists can see Dublin Bay.

People cycling on the S2S two-way cycle path across from Bull Island are only separated from motorists by a low kerb.#

The city council report on the issue said that a review of the height of the wall came after “representations from members of the public who contended that the sea wall partially obscured the view of the South Bull Lagoon for motorists travelling on the roadway at the northern end of the scheme.”

Cllr Rebecca Moynihan (Labour Party) said that motorists should have their eyes on the road ahead of them and not the coast. While, one local councillor, Cllr Deirdre Heney (FF), denied that the view of motorists was the only reason behind the reduction, and that pedestrians on the inland footpath and wheelchair users would also benefit.

There was local cross-party and independent support for the reduction — with councillors arguing that the plan to reduce the wall was after a two year process of negotiation between the city and local residents.

At the council meeting tonight, local area councillors mostly spoke for reduction, while councillors from outside the area spoke against it. The vote to reduce the wall was carried by 34 votes to 21, with two abstaining.

Council officials said that the reduction in the coastal flooding defences means will not comply with national standards which looks to defend against a “1 in every 200 year” event. The lower height will only defend against a “1 in every 200 year” event and will mean revisiting the revisiting again within 10 to 30 years.

If the funding was not spent on reducing the wall it could be used for flooding defences elsewhere in the city.

The council report on the issue said: “The cost of the proposed works is estimated at €,000 – €230,000 to reduce the height of the sea wall and €300,000 for the cladding and copping etc. (The estimated costs include vat). If approved, the funding for the works will come from Development Levies that have been ring fenced for Flood Alleviation projects by the City Council.”

Councillors from other areas said that they had no problem spending the money on cladding the wall, but had a problem spending it on reducing the height of a sea wall to improve the view of motorists.

The council’s CEO, Owen Keegan, said that the management of the council could not recommend the reduction because it would not be in compliance with national standards.

Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour) asked who would be liable for damage if the lower level was breached. Officials said they did not know.

6 Comments

  1. This has to be the most insane waste of money in recent times.Next thing will be a ban on pedestrians and cyclists using the s2s because we block the view.maybe it would be cheaper to give out cardboard periscopes to drivers who need them or maybe this whole mad plan can be put on the long finger til after the next flood and the locals see what it does for them.

  2. In case people haven’t seen it, the following link is to a video that was at the heart of this whole utter pile of bollox.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k66O1mxzn1E

    You’ll note how he goes on and on about the nature and beauty of the area, all the while being almost drowned out by the noise of the fucking traffic behind him. How did he not notice that the biggest factor in the environment in this area is the traffic on that road. Constant dangerous speeding all along that section.

    For those who might be interested in some ranting; the following few paragraphs is what I wrote in response in the comments section of the video:

    The poster of this video is worried about a sea wall that ‘destroys’ the view for people in cars. He has a point that the wall isn’t the most attractive, but I think there’s an even bigger problem here. If we’re genuinely concerned about nature and the views across the bay, then perhaps we should be worrying less about what motorists can see from their cars and be much more concerned about the constant and all-intrusive noise, pollution and danger coming from those same cars. Listen to the noise in the video above………. It’s horrible, and I can assure you that it sounds even worse in real life. Sometimes its almost impossible to hold a conversation as you walk along there. Vehicles on that road destroy the natural ambience far far far more than the new wall.

    I think that the entire road (from Mt Prospect Ave to the junction where the Howth Rd meets the coast) should be closed to vehicular traffic (access to Bull Island could be maintained via Watermill Rd). I know that suggestion is probably too radical for most, but how about just for a day or two a week? On a Sunday maybe. Maybe between 8am and 6pm. The entire seafront could then become a green space, a park for people and families. A beautiful living area, not drowned out by the constant noise of cars and trucks. Go down along that road early in the morning before cars are out in force and listen to the sounds of nature echoing across the bay. Curlew, oystercatchers, jackdaws, godwit, black-headed gulls, brent geese and so much more. The people of Dublin are so lucky to have a UNESCO biosphere reserve literally within the city boundaries and yet its true value is diminished and eroded for us all in the face of the incessant noise, danger and pollution from vehicles along that stretch of road.

    Imagine just for a moment. Imagine if the road was closed for one day a week. We would all then have a public space that stretched from the boundaries of Raheny all the way down onto, and along the coast, without the noise and worry of traffic. Imagine the freedom of being able to walk from the trees in St Annes and straight across to the shore-line without interruption or fear of death, surrounded only by the sounds of the birds, the wind in the trees, and the sea lapping against the shore. That’s what you’d get if you closed the road to vehicles, even if only for one day a week.

    Consider it at least. It could be done if people had the will.

  3. If this is true, it is absolutely ridiculous. A total waste of money – money that could be spent helping the homeless crisis.

  4. So disappointing! It raises questions about the caliber of local representatives. Mad Stuff! Just wait till the first overspill and houses/businesses are flooded!?

  5. I agree that this is insane. Councilors who voted for this should be a laughing stock. Spending money to reduce flood defenses in an area prone to flooding. I wonder if The Onion occasionally slips in true stories, and if they pay for submissions.

    The mention of how this ruins the view for people walking on the far side of the road is a transparent attempt to make it seem that this isn’t just about motorists. As already pointed out by Citizen Wolf the ‘natural beauty’ of the area is already ruined for those people by the constant stream of cars, not only the noise, but also blocking their view. Walkers who want to enjoy the view of the bay can do so by crossing the road. Of course that’s not all that easy, so perhaps someone should advocate for more pedestrian crossings along their.

    Motorists should pay attention to the damn road.

  6. How do some Councillors get up to this populism when they are elected to plan for the future of our city – sea flooding being a real and present risk?
    I want drivers to be concentrating on driving and not looking coast wards to take in the views. We have enough risk to VRUs posed by distracted-driving.

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