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Residents Concerned About Erosion And Undermining Of Point Road, Crosshaven

Writes Leo McMahon

With its views of the beautiful village and harbour and the sound of lapping waves, Point Road, Crosshaven is one of Cork’s most popular shoreline walks but beware because sections of it have cracks and subsidence that are a cause of great concern for residents.

Indeed, as a group they urged action by Cork County Council, ‘before it’s too late’ at a meeting in Crosshaven Community Centre on February 21st attended by Cllrs Audrey Buckley (FF) and Seamus McGrath (FF) as well as representatives of some developers along the road.

Point Road, Crosshaven

On March 4th, this reporter met and went on walkabout with Anita O’Riordan, Susan Quinlan, Jean Beston-O’Keeffe and Mary Leonard at Point Road.

Across the narrow road from neighbours Susan (‘Waterville’) and Jean (‘Neidin’), in what serves as a small parking/passing bay, the situation is particularly serious because a hedge disguises the fact there is a sheer and immediate drop of around 30 feet to the sea and rocks while old concrete posts and wire fencing inside it are leaning towards the strand. Close by, what were formerly steps to a little garden is no more except for marker sticks at the edge.

Directly across the road from Anita’s home, ‘Waterside,’ is a crack at the shoreline side which has widened in recent months and clearly indicates a road that is undermined.

Proceeding close to the turning point, there is a definite slope in the road which occurred in recent months, due probably to a combination of coastal erosion, subsidence and increased heavy traffic.

On a visit two days later to the strand below Point Road, Cllr Buckley showed this reporter a collapsed section of cliff across from a site for sale near the turning table. Earth and debris had fallen to the bottom of the cliff which now mainly comprises loose shale, earth and stone plus hedging and vegetation on top.

In the 1960’s, part of Point Road was washed away by a storm and a wall was built. In 1973, another section collapsed and a sturdy wall built. Letters of concern were sent by Anita and other residents to the council in 2016 when it was clear that a protective fence was no longer vertical. Soon after, another patch of road opposite Point House collapsed and repaired by building up huge boulders placed over the edge which were covered by concrete. To date, this has proved effective with a flat patch of grass on top and although expensive, would appear to be the way forward even if funded and carried out in phases.

In the spring of 2021, the residents stated, the council put in place concrete fencing posts at the most vulnerable sections but within two weeks of this, part the road edge collapsed in an area that was previously exposed and had been pointed out as a danger. The concrete fencing, they contend, is a safety but not a preventative measure nor is it a solution to the overall problem.

There are gaps on the road where the solid road edge ends and only the deep roots of hedging is keeping it all together. In most cases, a collapse would end up on the rocks but in one section it would fall into private property.

On a road that was designed for a horse and cart, there are currently three live building sites, one home refurbishment, planning permission for another new build and three sites for sale.

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