Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has stated that the Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty that needs to be protected and has pledged to identify and fight for any possible European funding available to provide for long term coastal protection. This follows a meeting on Friday between the MEP, Sinn Féin councillors John Brady, John Snell and representatives from the Save the Murrough and Friends of the Murrough groups.
Speaking after the visiting and walking the Murrough and inspecting the coastal erosion Liadh Ní Riada MEP said “The Murrough in Wicklow Town is an area of natural beauty; it’s the only parkland available in Wicklow Town and is an important local amenity. It must be protected from both coastal erosion and development. The area is environmentally important and is designated under the EU Habitats Directive as a candidate Special Area of Conservation for birds.”
“The level of coastal erosion happening at the Murrough is alarming and its imperative that the issue is pushed at both National and European levels. I’ve pledged to raise the Murrough at a European level to try getting the relevant protections enacted; I will also try identifying funding streams to ensure the necessary long term coastal protection is put in place to ensure the area is protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor John Brady said “My Sinn Féin colleagues Eamonn Long, Garrett O’Reilly and John Snell have worked over many years to try ensuring the Murrough is protected for the people of Wicklow to enjoy. A lot of credit must go to the late Cllr Pat Kavanagh who also championed this issue over many years and to the Friends of the Murrough group.”
“In 2004 Eamonn Long and I stood on the Murrough at the Monkey Pole which was at risk of getting washed into the sea due to coastal erosion. In the subsequent years the Monkey Pole has had to be moved further inland on two separate occasions.”
Cllr Brady concluded “A small amount of funding has been allocated by the OPW to carry out some short term coastal protection work that should have been carried out many years ago. We need now to work towards securing funding to protect the Murrough long term, there are plans there that need to be funded and advanced. The Murrough is environmentally important, we need to push to ensure it get designated under EU legislation as a Special Protection area, also that a Special Area Amenity Order (SAAO) is given. I commend the work that both Save the Murrough and the Friends of the Murrough are doing both to highlight the serious issues affecting the area and ensuring that its protected as an valuable public amenity for the people of Wicklow.