A PORTRANE woman whose home – Wit’s End – backs on to Burrow beach in Portrane could become the latest statistic in the homeless war if Mother Nature has her way – and it seems there’s nothing can be done to help her.
Grainne Hannigan’s home at Healy’s Lane is set to topple into the sea unless drastic action is taken immediately to curb the advancing sea that has almost won the battle on her doorstep in Portrane’s coastal erosion war.
Grainne, who has been living at Wit’s End for the past 18 years, and now lives there with her daughter and granddaughter, has lost up to 45 feet in garden space to the rear of her home.
At the moment, her home is about two feet away from sliding into the sea. She revealed that the 45 feet were lost in only two storm events – one in 2013, and last week’s Storm Emma.
Speaking to Dublin Gazette, Grainne said: “Where I’m standing at the moment, clinging onto the wall of my house, used to be part of my lovely garden.
“I don’t want anything from the council – all I want is for them to allow me to put up rock armour and I’m prepared to pay for it myself. I just want them to rely on me to put up a proper sea defence, whether it’s rock armour or girders or something that will protect what’s left of my home.
“They told me they couldn’t put hard rock armour, boulders or stones because it would affect the neighbours, and they cannot allow us to put up any metal structure or sea wall, because it would affect the whole coastline.
“They said they can provide us with sandbags, but because my fence has fallen, they are effectively on private property, and therefore they cannot help us to fill them and that would be our responsibility.
“All I know is that with one more high tide, my foundations would be exposed, which will mean the end of the house.
“Minister for Flood Relief, Boxer Moran, who paid a visit to the area about two weeks ago, said that the money was available for such projects, but his department has not received any proposal from Fingal County Council.
“We’ve got nothing from the council and we have paid in excess of €5,000 for supply of temporary measures since 2013. Either they give me a hand, or allow me to do it myself – it’s as simple as that.”
Grainne had nothing but praise for two local councillors, Paul Mulville (SD) and Adrian Henchy (FF). “They’re putting up a great fight for me, but I don’t know how much luck they’re having.”
In response to queries about Wit’s End, a council spokesperson told Dublin Gazette: “Fingal County Council is aware of the situation regarding Ms Hannigan’s house and staff from the council have been in contact with her.
“Ms Hannigan has not, however, requested the council to carry out any erosion control measures.
“It should be noted that expert reports commissioned by the council have confirmed that the erosion problem at this location is not amenable to localised engineered solutions such as those mentioned.
“During recent discussions with Minister Moran’s office, the council outlined plans for extensive flood protection measures for Portrane.
“The Minister confirmed that he is well disposed to assisting with the funding of these measures.
“The council is pursuing the implementation of these measures having regard to all the necessary planning and regulatory requirements.”