independent

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Storm strips away the beach at Rosslare, shellfish driven ashore

David Tucker

Thousands of shellfish washed ashore at Rosslare Strand
Thousands of shellfish washed ashore at Rosslare Strand
Washed-up sealife at Ballytrent, pictured by Aidan Rea

While much of County Wexford was under a thick blanket of snow last week, it was almost forgotten that Emma blew up a storm on the beaches as the big snow blew in.

Emma has a significant impact on Rosslare strand beach, eroding more of the dunes and depositing tonnes of shell fish on the beach where they created quite a stink on Monday.

The last time this happened the rotting fish remained for weeks despite the best efforts of large flocks of gulls and other birds.

Local people said Emma was particularly vicious, and stripped away the sand from the beach, although most are confident the beach will 'come back' over the coming weeks.

'It did regenerate itself the last time,' said Val Boggan, the chair of the Rosslare Community Development Association (RCDA).

'A lot of people are worrying about it, but I am fully confident the sand will come back in, it's only a matter of time,' she told this newspaper.

'The storm came in directly from the east and did a lot of damage, which is very unfortunate.'

Former county council engineer and Rosslare resident Phil Callery said the damage was very severe, but he said that it should be all right again by the summer.

'The sand will come back, but Rosslare is getting lower, particularly at the southern end and there is a fair bit of urgency needed to rectify it,' Mr Callery told this newspaper.

He said the county council was carrying out a survey of the currents in Rosslare Bay to see how best to remedy the problem, but it would need a multi-million euro scheme to get it right, particularly the serious erosion on the cliffs.

And he said that as bad as things were now, they were worse prior to the mid-90s when the last major scheme took place.

Former guard and Rosslare resident Declan Furlong, of Cluain Aoibhinn, was walking along the beach near the Burrow on Rosslare Strand when he saw tonnes of shell fish which include scallops, razor clams and mussels, all deposited there by Emma during the storm.

'The beach is gone. It's wrecked. All that's left is rocks and stones. I don't know what's going to be done to get it back,' said Declan.

But it's an ill-wind that that blows nobody any good and one man was collecting the beached shellfish. He said he planned would bring them home, put them on the pot, they would pop open and would have a feast washed down with few pints of Guinness or a bottle of good wine.

The shellfish are mostly clams, however, there are razor shells, otter shells, cockles, oysters and scallops, starfish and squid.

Ballytrent also received a storm-born bounty from the sea, the images captured by Aidan Rea, from the Red Kettle in Wexford.

Wexford People

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