Davenport, Calif. (January 30, 2019) – Save The Waves Coalition and environmental partners urge careful consideration from Ireland’s national planning appeal board in the case against Trump International Golf Links’ seawall in Doonbeg, Clare County.
If approved, the proposed project would allow two seawalls to be built on a public beach to provide ‘coastal erosion management’ for Trump’s private golf resort and cause a profound negative impact on Doughmore Beach – a popular surf break and coastline for surfers and beachgoers.
In December 2017, the Clare County Council approved the TIGL project for the two seawalls (630m & 260m). Save the Waves and partners each filed separate appeals to Ireland’s national planning appeal board, An Bord Pleanála, outlining the multitude of technical and procedural issues presented with TIGL’s proposal.
“What we’re faced with is the end of the sand dune system. The building of a coastal defense along the shoreline will stop the dunes from growing as they should,” said Tony Lowes, Director of Friends of the Irish Environment.
Ultimately, the TIGL project would accelerate erosion in the areas adjacent to the seawalls and create a “domino-effect” scenario calling for additional defenses along the beach and sand dune system.
“Before you know it, we end up-armoring much bigger areas than we originally intended,” said Andrew Cooper, a Professor of Coastal Studies at Ulster University.
The inevitable need for additional seawalls would eventually leave Doughmore Beach with a larger sea defense resembling the original TIGL project. The or a 15,000 ton, 3km seawall that was proposed and defeated in 2016 through an opposition campaign that gathered 100,000 petition signatures along with global spotlight and scrutiny.
“You hear about building a wall on a sand dune as supposedly a solution, but it’s really just about trying to save someone’s business for a few years. It doesn’t really matter how much money it makes. If it destroys the ecosystem and if it’s damaging this area, then there’s no business,” said Fergal Smith, a surfer, activist and Clare County local.
A year later, the case is still left undecided. Save The Waves and environmental partners continue to implore the Appeals Board to hear the case and recognize the severe implications of the seawall project on the surrounding coastline.