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Installing viewing points while carrying out climate adaptation works in Labasheeda may lead to water breaching the road from the Shannon Estuary or more people crossing “a busy regional road,” Council officials have warned.

In June, the Department of Transport confirmed an allocation of €699,350 for Clare County Council under its Climate Adaptation and Resilience Works 2021 grant scheme.

This included €30,000 to raise approximately 150m of the sea wall along the R473 at Aillroe and €40,000 to raise approximately 200m of the sea wall along the R473 at Erribul. Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) recently proposed that “view points” be included as part of the works and was seconded in his call by Cllr Bill Chambers (FF).

Alan Kenneally, senior executive engineer with the West Clare Municipal District explained, “The works are necessary as the estuary waters regularly flood the R473 at both locations and raising the estuary wall locally will alleviate this”.

He confirmed, “Clare County Council did not apply to the grant scheme for monies to create a viewing point at either or both locations. However, the feasibility of a viewing point may be examined, subject to traffic safety considerations on a busy regional road. Subject to funding and assuming that it is possible to provide a safe viewpoint along the R473, then Clare County Council can look at gaining the necessary planning and environmental consents for a viewing point overlooking the Shannon Estuary”.

Praising the “very proactive” community group in Labasheeda, Cllr Murphy outlined that there is “huge support” for the proposal. “I hate letting an opportunity pass without layering another opportunity on top of it”.

Kenneally committed to talking with the community group but cautioned, “we’re raising a wall, there is a wall in the way which we can’t breach because it is keeping the water from the Estuary off the road. If we put it on other side we would be inviting people to cross what it is a busy regional road”.

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