Access to Greystones North Beach is currently available from a path North of the harbour and has recently been improved by Sispar. The North Beach does get cut off by high tide but this has often been the case in the past. Access from the old Gap Bridge was closed a decade ago before the harbour construction started, by fencing, because of the erosion. Donnelly’s statement that there has always been direct access to the sea on the entire North Beach is not correct. Over the past century the severe erosion has been, on average, a bit under a metre a year and this will continue. The erosion since construction started is in line with historical averages and the contract.
Donnelly wants the newly grassed area to be open to the public. However to produce a surface suitable for walking would need lots of top soil, would cost about €500,000 and would take much longer. Sispar are currently importing a mixture of a small amount of top soil mixed with mostly sub soil. Meadow grass will be sown on this at an overall cost of about €100,000. Most of the work on this site will be covered when building starts so an expensive surface will be largely wasted. Large quantities of top soil are not currently available, because of construction decline, which would delay a better surface.
The next most important item for the town is getting the marina open which will produce tourism and many benefits and this is where resources should be spent and what I will be concentrating on.
The country is in a terrible mess and T.D.s should concentrate on sorting it out, not on local issues where they don’t know the facts. This is what Donnelly stated he would do in his election manifesto but is now ignoring.