Update from Clontarf Residents Association re Modifications to the sea wall

09 Jan 2018

We are pleased to inform residents that at last night’s Monthly Council Meeting, DCC’s planning application to modify the sea wall at James Larkin Road was approved. We would like to acknowledge the dedication of our Councillors in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion.

This permission gives effect to the agreement to reduce the height of 470m of the sea wall by 300mm. The agreement to reduce the wall was reached in September 2016 following long and detailed negotiations in response to considerable public outcry.

It is important to note that the reduction in wall height was:

• proposed by DCC
• based on scientific evidence from an Independent Expert engaged by DCC.

It is also important to note that the reduced height wall:

• gives protection from a 1 in 100-year event as opposed to a 1 in 200-year event,
• still includes a 200mm allowance for future sea level rise in addition to 300mm freeboard, and,
• that DCCs own staff have confirmed that the Park can contain any flood water that might arise.

There has been a lot of misinformation about this latest planning application and it is important that we clarify this for those who are not familiar with the area in question or the background to this matter.

Area in question:

  • The original planning permission for these works covered a 2km stretch from Bull Bridge to Causeway Road.
  • The new planning permission only deals with 619m of the new sea wall from the Causeway Road end to Mt Prospect Ave. This is the area opposite St Anne’s Park and not opposite houses or businesses.
  • There is no history of coastal flooding in this area. The agreement reached with the local community only relates to the first 470m of this wall.


  • This new planning permission has two aspects – cladding of and modifications to the sea wall


  • The requirement to clad the wall is an unmet condition of the original An Bord Pleanála permission for these works. This work should have been undertaken as part of the original works while the contractor was still on site.

Modifications to the sea wall:

  • Sections of the wall as currently constructed would exceed the height permitted in the existing planning permission if the required capping is put in place and therefore need to be reduced. 
  • Other sections of the wall need to be raised because, even though they are built to the required flood defence height, they are too low to meet H&S standards.
  • The costs associated with these modifications cannot be attributed to the agreement reached with the local community. 
    A further section of wall built to a height that allowed for the agreed 300mm reduction will need no remedial action. 
  • The only additional work and costs that can legitimately be attributed to implementing the agreement reached with the local community are those associated with the additional cutting of the wall beyond that which was already required and the disposal of the additional waste material.

It is unfortunate that the cladding and modification works were not undertaken while the contractor was on site. We accept fully that the works will cause further disruption to both the commuters and recreational users of the area.

However, the area in question is part of the UNESCO Biosphere. It demands a level of consideration and protection in keeping with its unique status. The importance of the visual link between the Park and the Biosphere was established in the An Bord Pleanála permission underpinning the existing Part 8 permission.

While much has been said about the loss of views for motorists, the real issue was the loss of the visual amenity and connection with the Biosphere to all those many walkers not using the sea side footpath or cycle track and also to wheelchair users in the Park. We look forward to the timely completion of these works and the other outstanding items from the original works.