Wicklow Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris TD has been working with a number of public bodies to put in place an ongoing arrangement to keep The Breaches clear and prevent flooding.
Minister Harris said:
“There has been a number of near misses in recent weeks as regards blockages at The Breaches in Kilcoole. On January 30th there was a particularly serious incident and thanks to Irish Rail and the owners of Newcastle Aerodrome the blockage at The Breaches was cleared to prevent flooding of local houses.
With the prevailing easterly winds over the past week the task of keeping Th Breaches clear has become exceptionally difficult.
Last week along with my colleague Cllr Tom Fortune, I met with Irish Rail and the owners of the Aerodrome to discuss the problems they were experiencing as regards keeping the estuary clear. I have also contacted my colleague the Minister for Public Works and the National Parks and Wildlife Service seeking their assistance.
The OPW recently appointed an Engineering Consultant to examine a viable long-term flood defence scheme for the Breaches. While this is welcome, this examination will not be complete until the summer.
In the meantime, I have requested a meeting with the CEO of Wicklow County Council and asked that the County Council apply to the OPW for funding towards temporary ongoing remedial works to keep The Breaches clear until such time as a permanent flood defence is in place”.