Solution needed for erosion issue
The issue of coastal erosion and the implications that has for Rosslare Strand was discussed recently when a group met and viewed the effects for themselves.
Officials from Wexford County Council met with members of the Rosslare Development Association, the Rosslare Community Development Association, Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin and party colleague, Cllr George Lawlor, and heard about the issues facing the area as a result of erosion, including the threat it might have to Rosslare beach's Blue Flag status.
The group walked both north and south along the beach to inspect the extent of the damage following this winter's storms and it was agreed that remedial action had to be taken, and urgently.
It was pointed out that climate change had serious implications for Rosslare including: the rise of sea levels; increased frequency of storms; and the change prevailing wind to a more easterly direction.
An extensive coastal protection scheme, planned for the area, involves the further construction of rock groynes and the rebalancing of levels of sand along the beach. A study is currently underway and, when completed, the report will be discussed by the various interested parties, including members of the public. The Office of Public Works will also be involved in this process as they would have to approve capital funding of €5m for the essential first-stage protection works.
Erosion has been a long-running issue in the area. Since the 1920s, Rosslare Development Association has been liaising with the County Council to protect the beach which is a major focal point in the area which, of itself, forms a major part of the county's tourism infrastructure.
In 1994/1995, a successful protection scheme was carried out in major parts of the beach but the group believes that this must now be extended. That scheme cost €1.5m and was funded by the EU, Department of Marine, Wexford County Council and CIE.