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Landing Craft Onto Killiney Beach to Assist Coastal Protection Works At Cliffs

18th January 2019
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Landing craft James with vehicle ramp lowered onto Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin and where heavy machinery transfers rock armour to Shanganagh Cliff (as seen behind) and the backdrop of the Little Sugarloaf, Co. Wicklow. Landing craft James with vehicle ramp lowered onto Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin and where heavy machinery transfers rock armour to Shanganagh Cliff (as seen behind) and the backdrop of the Little Sugarloaf, Co. Wicklow. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#coastal - Works to protect cliffs along Killiney Bay, in south Co. Dublin, from coastal erosion, have stepped up in recent weeks as sea born rock armour from neighbouring Co. Wicklow is been delivered onto the beach, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Integral to the works is the Irish flagged landing craft vessel, James, which Afloat reported last month following completion of refurbishment at the Kish Lighthouse for Irish Lights.

The work on Killiney Beach involves the craft operated by O'Malley Marine Plant, to shuttle loads of limestone varying between 3.5 to 5 tonnes apiece. The source for the armour is from the Roadstone Quarry with associated jetty located south of Arklow Port.

The Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council coastal project at Seafield, Shankill, is the Corbawn Lane Beach Access and Coastal Project Improvement Works located at Shanganagh Cliffs, which historically is vulnerable to coastal erosion. The works involve a 180m stretch along the cliff.

According to DLRCC, the project cost as set out in the Council's 2018-2020 Capital Programme is €928,000 and allows for design, construction, project management and related costs.

Access from the cliff down to the beach was only made possible by pedestrians taking use of a series of public steps. Due to the works, DLRCC say it is not be possible to use this public access, and, depending on tide levels, it may not be possible to travel along the beach past the works.

As for direct access to the beach by road this is not possible, forcing the project to engage the services of James. The craft is ideal for such scenarios as the shallow draft vessel can approach the beach head-on and then lower its ro-ro landing ramp onto the shoreline. At this stage of the logistics, awaiting heavy machinery on the shore then drive on board to be loaded with limestone and transferred ashore.

Main contractors for the coastal works is MJS Civil Engineering based in Newtownmountkennedy. Co. Wicklow. The project arose following conclusions published in DLRCC's Coastal Defence Strategy Study 2010 and where a presentation was held in 2017 to outline recommendations.

Among the study's survey, three distinct areas along the Killiney Beach and neighbouring coastlines were identified. As for those at Seafield, findings concluded that this stretch south of Killiney beach, were deemed to have unacceptable risks, as the cliff at Shanganagh is eroding and is unstable.

Prior to the sea-born deliveries, stablising the cliff was carried out. According to MJS, a trench was dug at the foot of the cliffs formed of soft clay, this led to a concrete wing wall constructed to underpin the works. At this stage the rock-armour is now been placed firmly at the wall to secure and strenghten this part of the coastline. 

Afloat confirmed with O'Malley Marine, that the works to haul the rock armour, from their side of the sea based operations is envisaged to be completed between 3-4 months.

In addition, MJS cited a minimum of 6,000 tons will be required at the foot of the cliffs, though potentially this estimate could increase to 10,000 tons. The engineering firm expected work to be completed in July.

Published in Coastal Notes
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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