Rising sea levels, flooding and drains. Skerries Flooding Survey


Your eyes do not deceive you.The grass-topped breakwater slopes steeply towards the landward side The five sandbags represent a futile attempt to stop the water from flooding into the lane and then into the gardens and houses at Holmpatrick. The firemen work diligently to alleviate the problem but their work is cancelled out by every wave or swell that breaks against the rock armour, when a south easterly wind meets a high spring tide. In fairness, the reinforcement of the rock margin in recent times, by Fingal Council, has made some difference but the spray over-leaps the barrier and has nowhere to go but down the slope.The obvious solution is to reverse the slope of the grassy area by raising the landward side by a few inches, a minor tweak, allowing the water to expend its energy and seep back into the sea. This would have no impact on anyone’s view and would ease the anxiety of householders. By the way, the drains in the laneway are dummy drains, leading nowhere.



This flooding has no connection to the flooding caused by the Mill Stream or The Brook, further north. It is the result of some well-meaning, but thoughtless design. The promenade and path are splendid assets and welcome additions to the amenities of Skerries. There is a Council plan to extend them much further along the coast, with spectacular potential for tourism and recreation. The sooner the better. Ideally a link-up from Balbriggan to Skerries and onwards to Loughshinny, Rush, Malahide, Howth, Sutton and beyond, would rival any of the notable greenways in the country. It would open the enjoyment of spectacular vistas of Fingal’s coast, now available only to a privileged few, for local people and visitors alike.

This is the gold standard of sea defences, the White Wall. Built of Milverton limestone, it deflects the force of the sea upwards and kills it by gravity. It has worked well for nearly two centuries with minimal maintenance. Diagonal drains carried the water efficiently back into the sea, like scuppers on the deck of a ship. The road dried out as soon as the tide began to drop. However… if it ain’t broke as the saying goes. Someone decided to improve the drains by sinking them vertically, thereby allowing debris to accumulate and block the flow .Look closely. This is a modified drain. Somebody should look into it.