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Funding to Protect Murrough Coastal Walk

I can confirm protection works and Irish Rail funding for the Murrough in Wicklow Town.

The Murrough coastal walk in Wicklow suffered further serious erosion and loss of the coastal path over the weekend due to Storm Babet. I visited the site visit on Monday morning. The damage is significant and a new section of pathway has had to be created running close to the rail line and further from the coastal edge.

This area has been under threat for years from storm surges and erosion and each year we lose a bit more of the route. This is only going to get worse due to climate change. With sea level rise, and the increasing intensity and frequency of storms and weather events, this will create serious flooding and erosion at low lying land along our Wicklow east coast.

Following recent events on the Murrough, I have been liaising with Wicklow County Council and Irish Rail to ensure funding is made available to carry out interim measures to protect the rail line and coastal path.

I am pleased to confirm that funding is now available through Irish Rail, and the protection works can proceed. By my estimation, there is a requirement to extend the rock protection by around 300m to prevent further loss at a vulnerable pinch point near the ‘monkey pole’. I expect this work to proceed as soon as possible.

The railway is at risk and this is an important piece of strategic transport infrastructure connecting Dublin to Roslare. It also provides a vital commuter link for Wicklow residents. With my DART extension project progressing well, I am also working to ensure a more permanent coastal protection project progresses.

The East Coast Railway Infrastructure Protection Project (ECRIPP) is a large engineering project which is progressing through early design and options phases and will provide protection against storm surges at sites where the railway is vulnerable to flooding or erosion.

Irish Rail have always acted quickly to protect the Murrough coastal path but Wicklow County Council will need to step up too and decide what their priorities and objectives are for the coastal route from Wicklow to Greystones.

As long as I represent the people of Wicklow, I will keep working on these projects; the Wicklow DART, the coastal route, the protection of the Murrough and ultimately the larger ECRIPP coastal protection project. The biggest threat we all face is climate change and this weeks flooding and coastal erosion has given us a small taste of what the future holds if we don’t act quickly and with urgency to reduce carbon emissions.

I know how important and valuable the Murrough is to the people of Wicklow and I am pleased to have played my part in ensuring the protection works can go ahead as soon as possible.



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