Windy waves washing away Cahore beach

Dan Walsh

I always liked a visit to Cahore. It was always one of my favourite places, although I miss the closed doors of Cahore Castle where once we ate, drank, danced and lost our way home in a fun way on so many occasions, although The Strand Bar still retains some vestiges of the traditional hospitality.

CAHORE HARBOUR today. Rainy overcast conditions didn’t deter a few visitors.

The sea was choppy today and could be observed eating away at the beach which is receding into the car park. Climate change in action and a contributory factor to coastal erosion which is no stranger in this part of the south-east.

The beautiful and visitor friendly Wexford coastline is 250kms long and 90% consists of sandy soil which is easy fodder for storm and tempest that takes its share with each passing year.

We hear about the ‘lost’ beach at Courtown where it was found necessary to place rock armour, just south at Donaghmore a house tumbled into the sea after the garden disappeared. More reports from Kilpatrick, in the Castletown district in the north of the county, the constant erosion over many years at Ballyconnigar, just a few kilometres from Blackwater village, has been well documented, there are problems at Rosslare, and only last year a roadway disappeared from the landscape near Kilmore Quay.

Storm Ophelia is regarded as the worst storm to affect Ireland in 50 years when it made landfall over Ireland on October 16th 2017 with wind speeds of up to 115km/h recorded at Johnstown Castle weather station. The storm caused major power outages, lifted roofs, felled countless trees and caused coastal flooding in Ireland, and sadly, the tragic loss of three lives was also attributed to Storm Ophelia.

Major storms contribute hugely to coastal decimation and living with climate change into the future augurs negatively against the situation getting the better of the occasional angry waves of the sea driven by an intense breeze onto the exposed eastern coastline.

The estimated cost of coastal protection is between €2,000 and €3,000 per metre!

Senior Engineer with Wexford County Council Gerry Forde said that it is a difficult situation to combat but the emphasis is on protecting the towns, villages, public roads and places where people live. The best defence appears to be the rock armour that reinforces much of the coastline, but even so, in some places, this mechanism sometimes fails, and the erosion can is seen to reappear behind the defence lines.

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