Achill based Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McNamara this week raised the issue of a coastal protection plan for Achill at the West Mayo Municipal District June meeting.
Cllr McNamara asked what was the situation to ensure that Achill is properly protected in the future. Cllr McNamara said it was his understanding that the protection plan would follow the repair works that were carried out by the council last year.
However, he was informed by Padraig Walsh, senior engineer for Mayo County Council, that: "In terms of the Achill area, a number of sites where damage was experienced as a result of the storms, work has been carried out quite a few of those. We did meet with the Office of Public Works (OPW ) inspector and the intention is to apply for funding to carry out a a couple of particular studies, so a better understanding of the erosion processes that are happening, would feed into a better decision of what is needed, we do intend to apply for funding for that."
Cllr McNamara probed Mr Walsh, asking if the council had applied for the funding to carry out the survey. Mr Walsh responded that it was something that would have to be done, but had not yet been done. Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway Walsh backed up Cllr McNamara's call for action to be taken as soon as possible to apply for funding, saying: "I do think as a municipal area that covers the whole of the coastline of Mayo we have to make an application for funding for that, whether it comes from exchequer funding or European funding, it's important we have the application there not only for Achill but for the whole coast. There is no solace for people going into next winter if there are similar storms and weather like there was last year."