Posted in Posts and podcasts

Aughnish Sea Wall – 1913

Connacht Tribune 11th January, 1913 p.6 (abridged)

View from Duras, on the way to Aughnish Photo: BO'D
View from Duras, on the
way to Aughnish
Photo: BO'(abridged)

Dear Mr Moran,
In last week’s issue of the “Tribune”, I read an account of the serious damage done to the sea wall at Aughnish by the storm. This, I think, calls for a little plain speaking from someone in the locality. In the interests of the heavily-muleted ratepayers of the Gort Rural District, I am prompted to write and I hope to convince you that my remarks are more than necessary.
The sea wall, or “Coch,” at Aughnish, as you are aware, is a causeway connecting the densely populated village of Aughnish Co. Clare, with the mainland at Geeha – an appropriate name, for every wind that blows, run riot there. The road runs along by the Atlantic for about a thousand yards, two-thirds of it being in the Gort Rural District, and one-third being in the Ballyvaughan District, County Clare. For the past half century the causeway has been repaired times out of mind at considerable cost to the County Galway, but at a very trifling cost to the County Clare. More money has been spent by the Galway Grand Jury and the Gort Rural District Council on repairing breaches after every storm than would steamroll all the roads in Kinvara and Duras for the next ten years.
The people are heartily sick voting huge sums away year after year for repairs that, for all practical purposes might as well have been thrown into the sea.
Your predecessors applied for small sums varying from £50 to £100 for repairing the sea wall, and the work was always entrusted to a Gubaun Saor, whose only ambition was to draw his money and not care a straw if it fell the day after, as it did a number of years ago under the Grand Jury regime.
The Clare Grand Jury did things better, they expended a decent sum twenty golden years ago, and they never had to expend a penny on repairing it ever since. The Clare county surveyor insisted on a competent clerk of works superintending the contract from start to finish and he insisted on the proper materials being used, and on the specification being carried out to the letter. I am sure if you visit Aughnish and see for yourself what is required and insist on having it done (as I am sure you will),  in a proper manner and by competent mechanics under a resident engineer, such as you have amongst your assistants, it will be a long time again before the Aughnish sea wall comes up before the Gort District Council. Unless you take action at once, and put an end to botching and tinkering for ever, I fear the ratepayers of Kinvara and Duras will rise in rebellion against the District council at the next quarterly meeting.
Hoping that you take my advice to heart.
Your obedient servant.