Public discussion on the Ahare River

CLLR JOE SULLIVAN entertaining the young ducks happily paddling in the floods on the public road near the Ahare River Bridge today.

Special Report by DAN WALSH in North Wexford

Persistent flooding due to the excessive volume of water in the Ahare River on the road between Castletown and Tara Hill has been a lively local issue and raised at meetings of Wexford County Council on many occasions.

In a determined effort to improve matters and to formulate a framework of action going forward for the betterment of the entire community with due respect for diversity a public meeting has been arranged at the Golden Anchor, Castletown, on Thursday, March 30th, starting at 8pm. All are welcome.

“The local community are invited to the meeting to discuss what measures can be adopted to ensure safety and unhindered passage on the roadway,” said Cllr Joe Sullivan, who added; “Opinion and ideas around finding a long-term resolution to this issue will be valued and appreciated.”

When met with Cllr Sullivan today stagnant flooding existed on lands both sides of the Ahare Bridge while a strong brown fast flowing Inch River made its way to Clone Beach and into the sea.

Part of the roadway was flooded across, but passible for traffic, and a pair of friendly young ducks were happily swimming and having the time of their lives. Our visit was at 4pm today. It was a dry Spring Day with temperatures at 15 degrees Celsius and no rain since early morning in the area.

However, there are concerns locally. Landowners are frustrated by constant flooding in their fields, Local road users often have to take diversions and some locals have fears about the safety of the bridge that is being under water constantly for some years now. Suitable species of trees planted to enhance the diversity are leafless and rotting away!

HISTORY; The Ahare River, also known locally as the Inch or Kilgorman River flows from the mountain, meets up with the Clonoge River and enters the sea at Clone Beach.

The land is agricultural and rich in grazing while closer to the sea are reed banks on either side that provide a great wildlife habitat.

At Clone Beach the river enters the sea, but not before flowing through a lagoon that has developed a two-metre high cliff edge which locals describe as “dangerous for people using the beach, especially the children.

This lagoon has been described as “a nursery for juvenile flat fish and people have talked about being in the lagoon and experiencing a flurry of sand under their feet as the flounder made a quick escape.”

Eels and trout are part of the environment; however, recent fears have been expressed that the spawning stock are prohibited from going upstream, and that a cutting, like that maintained by locals some years ago, needs to be reintroduced to free up the river and assist the lagoon to allow the young trout and salmon to regain its natural habitat.

CLLR JOE SULLIVAN standing in the lagoon at Clone Beach today. The two-metre high cliff edge behind him is causing ‘public safety’ issues on the beach that is popular with the locals and visiting families. Locals are calling on Wexford County Council for “a direct cutting into the sea” at the mouth of the Ahare River to assist spawning stock move up river and maintain trout and salmon in the river. (Pic;

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