A grant of €191,000 was given to help with the repairs to the coastline in here in Louth in the wake of the recent flooding. However Meath was allocated three times as much per mile of coastline.
The eastern seaboard was badly damaged in January and early February following freak high tides and flooding.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) this week announced the funding allocation following this winter’s storm damage, with €191,000 granted to Louth for its 56 miles of coastline, accounted for €3,410 per mile of coastline.
However, Meath with a coastline spanning just seven miles in length, received €75,000 in total, which works out at €10,714 per mile of coastline.
In a statement, the OPW said: “In relation to Louth County Council, the funding to be made available via the OPW for repair and reinstatement works to coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure as per Louth County council’s submission to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, is to a maximum of €191,000.”
Louth County Council said the council will now as requested in the department’s letter prepare and submit to a programme of works for the repair of coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure within the funding ceiling allocation to it under the government decision.
“In preparing this programme it will be a matter for local authorities to satisfy themselves that works they propose to undertake fall within the ambit of those covered by the government decision.”
It could argued that there is a higher population density in the Meath area, however census records of the primary area of urbanisations along the Meath coastline ie Bettystown and Laytown have a total population of 10,900. That would mean an allocation of roughly €7 per person.
Louth’s coastline communities have an approximate population of roughly 37,500, which works out at a allocation of roughly €5 per person.
But minister Fergus O’Dowd has welcomed the grant.
“This follows on from the Government’s decision to make up to €19.6m in funding available for the repair of damaged coastal protection and flood defence works nationwide.
“This figure was based on estimates provided by local authorities to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“Mr Brian Hayes, Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW, is conscious of the urgency of these works and has said his office will consider advance funding requests of up to 80 per cent where a contract for works has been made.
“The amounts being made available, together with guidance provided by his department on works and development required will greatly assist local authorities in these works,” deputy O’Dowd said.