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Case Study:

Extreme Weather Response - Coastal Flooding



Following severe winter storms in January and February 2014, extensive damage was caused along the Clare coastline, which resulted in damage to sea defences and coastal flooding at Kilcredaun on the Loop Head peninsula. Because of the coastal flooding over an area of approximately 25 hectares, the local Irish college and 10 properties were isolated on the peninsula with no road access (Figure 1). This isolation of the community prompted the local authority to act and restore connectivity.

Figure 1: Flooding – Kilcredaun Peninsula, Co. Clare, 2014.


An initial temporary roadway that allowed limited access was established, suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles and tractors. The flooding was relieved by removing sections of the damaged sea defence at low tide and allowing the flood water to return to sea and then temporarily damming the breach before high tide. This
procedure was adopted for approximately one week to relieve the flooding. A temporary rock armour wall and new sluice gate were also constructed in the damaged sections of sea defences. 

Benefits of Solution

The flooding was alleviated, and the land restored to its agricultural use ready for the summer agricultural season. Access was also restored to the Irish college, which facilitated its preparations for the summer school. By restoring road access, it also removed the potential risks in the event of a medical emergency on the peninsula. The local authority was active in informing residents of what works they were undertaking and the likely timescales involved.

Project Details:

It took approximately four to six months to alleviate flooding and complete repairs.

Further information
Local authority project contact                                                                              
Cyril Feeney, BE CEng MICE CDipAF
Senior Engineer
Water Services and Environment Section
Clare County Council
Buttermarket Building
Drumbiggle Road
Ennis, Co. Clare
V95 RR72
Tel: 065 686 6125
Mobile: 087 228 4038