Writes Leo McMahon
Concern about the deteriorating condition of Minane Bridge dam and sluice gate which had the potential to be a link for ‘an amazing coastal walking amenity linking Ringabella and Fountainstown’ was highlighted by cathaoirleach Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) at the monthly meeting of the county council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).
In a written response, senior executive engineer Joan Dineen said the council’s coastal and flooding section was involved in capital projects and the works required here did not fall under any of the potential funding streams it currently had.
She also included a report to the MD in May 2022 from then county senior engineer Kevin Morey. He stated that following further investigations there, the council’s coastal section engaged with the public trustees in the Department of the Marine which had taken on the liabilities following abolition of the Irish Land Commission (ILC).
‘The Department advises that it doesn’t have responsibility for maintenance or upkeep of embankments. While in the past, the ILC did construct and repair these, plus other improvement works, ongoing maintenance obligations, if any, are the normal responsibility of occupying landholders’.
Mr Morey went on: ‘Over the years, there have been some instances of maintenance being carried out by agreement with the council’s Kinsale area office but the office has no funding or function in this regard. To date, no funding source has been found for further maintenance works for the dam’.
Cllr Buckley noted the response and said she would try to have a conversation with the current county engineer directly because the dam was a very poor state as a result of bits of concrete and railings falling away.
Seconding, Cllr Jack White (FG) said the dam was of historic significance and a potential amenity for the area.
He also highlighted the problem of a number of pieces of dangerous, rusted and sharp metal and equipment from a former oyster farm down river protruding through the sand which could pose a hazard to walkers at low tide. There was also an abandoned boat wreck. He believed it was a health and safety issue.
Senior executive engineer Madeleine Healy said the area office would have a look at it, adding she was unsure which section of the council, if any was had a role in dealing with this.