Arklow Municipal Cllrs. Annesley, Bourke, Fitzgerald, and Kennedy have expressed their shock and disappointment that Arklow still has not received funding for essential coastal erosion works.
Over the last five years, the Arklow Municipal District Councillors have met with two Ministers to seek funding for these emergency works. It was outlined to the Ministers that numerous reports had been conducted since 1989 to highlight the urgency of the problem and all had recommended emergency coastal protection measures.
On two different occasions, both Ministers assured all at those meetings that they were aware of the seriousness of the situation and that funding would be made available for the measures. To this day that funding has not materialised.
Cllr. Fitzgerald said ‘the fact that two Ministers have come into the town to meet with us and promise us funding and then to have not delivered on it is an absolute disgrace. It is not good enough and Arklow keeps being left behind on the broken promises of Ministers who don’t care about the town. As far as I can see the only people working behind the scenes on this with myself are Cllrs. Annesley, Bourke, and Kennedy. And working hard in the background.’
Cllr. Bourke, Cathaoirleach of the Arklow Municipal District, stated that ‘every year for the past 20 years, at the estimates meeting of the county council, the management assured the members that applications were made to the Department of Environment for the necessary work. Sadly, nothing happened.’
Cllr. Annesley said ‘Since 1990, 30+ metres of beachfront has been lost to coastal erosion along the North Beach. During the difficult times of Covid, this beach would have been of the utmost importance and provided people with an amenity to walk and exercise, which is extremely important for their mental health. Had action been taken when it should have been then we would not have lost it. Things have gone too far, and we have now been let down once again. It cannot continue.’
Cllr. Kennedy, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, also stated ‘It’s clear to me that Arklow has once again been let down by false promises. This simply cannot continue. Arklow has the potential to be one of the greatest tourist spots on the east coast. The most important amenity in Arklow is the natural water infrastructure and the beach area that comes with it. It is not good enough that it is continually ignored. We are doing everything in our power to make sure that what Arklow has lost will be reinstated and that what’s is there is protected.’