Written answers

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Coastal Erosion

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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271. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide an update on the allocation of funding to address coastal erosion in County Mayo; if further funding is available for coastal erosion which is gradually getting worse in west and north Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11284/23]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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Local Authorities are responsible for coastal erosion in their own areas. To assist Local Authorities in managing the coastline for coastal erosion, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has undertaken a national assessment of coastal erosion (including erosion rates) under the Irish Coastal Protection Strategy Study and the results of this study have been published on the OPW website www.floodinfo.ie. This data enables Local Authorities to develop appropriate plans and strategies for the sustainable management of the coastline in their counties.

Intervention or hard defences have the potential to cause problems further along the coast and any proposed intervention measures are best developed in conjunction with a formal coastal risk management study that has carefully investigated the problem and explored the full range of management options.

Local Authorities may carry out coastal protection works using their own resources. If necessary, they may also put forward proposals to the relevant Government Departments for funding of appropriate measures or apply for funding under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. The Scheme was introduced by the OPW in 2009 and its purpose is to provide funding to Local Authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The scheme generally applies where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame. Under the scheme, applications are considered for projects that are estimated to cost not more than €750,000 in each instance. Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available from the OPW for approved projects. The commencement and progression of any works for which funding is approved is a matter for each Local Authority concerned.

Since the inception of this scheme, the OPW has allocated funding of €2,276,056 to Mayo County Council, which includes funding of €484,787 for the construction of embankments in the Carrowholly area to protect individual properties from coastal flooding.

The Government has established an Inter-Departmental Group on National Coastal Change Management Strategy to scope out an approach for the development of a national co-ordinated and integrated strategy to manage the projected impact of coastal change to our coastal communities.

The Inter-Departmental Group is jointly chaired by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the OPW and will shortly bring forward options and recommendations for the Government to consider.


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