osted by local environmentalist Eoin Llewellyn yesterday, a YouTube video showing rubble blocking an estuary into the North Beach caused sparks on social media last night.
The estuary in question is for the Templecarrig Stream, and those angered by what they saw were quickly in touch with local councillors.
Who were quickly in touch with Greystones’ town engineer, Ruairi O’Hanlon.
This morning, Ruairi was quickly back in touch with the councillors with this reply to their concerns…
I am writing to you all as some of you have made contact with us as you have been contacted by a local environmental activist regarding a stream on the North Beach, Greystones, being blocked by rubble from an old sewage works being dumped by the council blocking the stream. The person in question has posted a video on YouTube and has made some remarkable claims, not least of all that the Council has acted illegally. This is a factually inaccurate statement and is at best inflammatory but may possibly be defamatory.
To explain the situation we received complaints regarding a potentially hazardous situation for the public on the North Beach, see email below. You will see from the photos that the old manhole was indeed in a precarious condition due to erosion around it and so we acted quickly in the interests of public safety and pulled the manhole down. The instruction given was to pull the manhole down and leave it on the beach, however, the driver of the machine pulled it down and left it where it fell. As you can see from the photos there was already a lot of debris and items blocking this stream before the manhole was pulled down.
This stream is the Templecarrig Stream. It is approximately 1.3km inland from the sea where it splits in two, the northern branch coming splitting once more being fed by two sources in Belmont. The southern section also splits twice more being fed from two separate sources from the Glen of the Downs Golf Club lands. There are no fish in this stream and it is not a stream of interest for Inland Fisheries Ireland. There are simply too many impediments along this stream for it to be fish friendly, with 530m of the first 1.3km being piped; fish will not swim far up a pipe as it becomes too dark for them. Often in the streams history and future it falls over the cliff face to the beach below and there was no way any swimming creatures of any description could navigate up it from the beach. This stream probably would have at one stage flowed gently to the sea and allowed fish to swim up it, and probably why Rathdown Castle was located there. However, this has not been the case since the railway was built in 1878 as the level of the stream bed was fixed under the railway line at that point but has been ever changing downstream since then with the stream eroding the land. It was further fixed by the old Greystones North Sewage Treatment works as the stream flows through a large pipe there too with the works overhead.
It is also the same stream that flows through St Crispins at the rear of houses in Redford Park which we recently completed a Willow Tree stream bank protection project to protect the rear of peoples properties. These people’s properties were being eroded due to their own actions of removing the streambank planting and pushing out their boundary fence to being right on top of the stream bank. The removal of the natural vegetation removed the protection against erosion along this bank. This bank was private property and the council had no responsibility in the matter, however, as the local elected representative asked us to look at what we could do we implemented the scheme to protect private property as well as improve the nature habitat of this section of the stream.
Whilst I appreciate the person concerned is campaigning for a better future they really should do more research and check their facts before placing such inflammatory videos online which can only lead to people believing what he has to say and generate ill will towards the council and its staff. I would also argue that it is the Council through its various statutory roles that is a real driving force for change for a better environment.
The council are in discussion with Fisheries Ireland over the best plan of action, with historic underground piping for the railway line ‘also an impediment to fish’, and a degree of rubble at the North Beach estuary ‘retaining sediment and slowing down coastal erosion’…
Eoin Llewellyn – involved in the current campaign to create a publicly-owned nature reserve – later made the video private.
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