Sligo’s ongoing battle with the Atlantic – and the damage caused in recent years – were highlighted in a visit by Minister of State, Simon Harris.
Deputy Harris was invited by his Fine Gael colleague, Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin to visit Strandhill and Rosses Point and see not only the damage caused along the coastline, but also the work which has been done thanks to funding from the Office of Public Works (of which Minister Harris has responsibility).
Firstly, the Minister visited Rosses Point Beach, where he was briefed on the worrying effects of costal erosion, which is damaging the popular beach front.
He was also told of the efforts which have been made to combat it, by Gary Salter, a senior engineer in Sligo County Council and Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services.
Discussions on the issue took place, at the beach front, and at a local meeting room close by, where Minister Harris also met with Paul Keyes of Sligo Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the local business community to hear their concerns about the beach front and potential effects on local business if the costal erosion is not solved.
Deputy Tony McLoughlin, said after the visit “I primarily requested that the Minister, with responsibility for the OPW, visited Rosses Point Beach to see first-hand the damage which is being caused by costal erosion to the beach front and to highlight to him the importance of this beach to the local community and also to Co. Sligo’s overall tourism product.
“After today’s visit by Minister Harris, I would be hopeful that both Sligo County Council and the OPW will be able to work together to produce a new detailed feasibility study into the beach front’s problems and then we will go forward from there.”
After leaving Rosses Point, Minister Harris then visited Strandhill Beach, in order to view the new costal erosion defences which were constructed in 2013. He also visited a number of local businesses in the village including VOYA, The Strand Bar and The Venue.