Lahinch sea wall versus the Atlantic Ocean, 1875

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Sduddy
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Lahinch sea wall versus the Atlantic Ocean, 1875

Post by Sduddy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:23 am

Clare Freeman, Sat 13 Mar 1875:
The Lahinch Sea Wall. The Lahinch sea-wall, as we are informed, is again in trouble, if not completely exterminated. It appears that the periodic high tides have been paying their accustomed visit to this quiet little village; and, as if to show their playful derision for the puny attempts of man to say to the crested fury of their accumulated might, “thus far and no further,’ have been playing jackstones with this obstruction which their presumption would set up to their sway. On Saturday night last, the tide, with sudden caprice, washed completely away with it the large accumulation of protecting boulders heaped up against the face of the foundation, on the seaside. They were swept outwards, leaving utterly exposed and naked the floor of sand upon which the immense break-water rests. A succeeding tide apparently equally whimsical returned the boulders to their place, and thus quieted for the moment the apprehension entertained for the fate of the huge and expensive battlement. Things rested so until yesterday morning when, as our informant tells us, the entire northern end (the portion previously injured, taken down and rebuilt) was undermined, the buttress in front washed away, and the foundation excavated from the seaside for a considable distance under the road. The super-structure itself has been thrown out of a perpendicular, bulging seaward in the middle several inches. Thus it was left by the retreating tide on Friday morning; and so it continued throughout yesterday. Writing at 10 o’clock this (Saturday) morning we are at present unable to say whether in its disabled state it has been spared by last night’s tide or completely annihilated. The expectation, however, was that the invalid could not and would not survive. At the recent meeting of the Grand Jury on the occasion of granting Mr Halpin’s presentment for £700, the half, as alleged, of the extra outlay expended by him on the work, the Foreman, Colonel Vandeleur, Mr Carey Reeves, and other gentlemen referred to this work as unwise from the very first – impracticable in its conception, and unfair in its extravagant outlay of the rates of districts which would not by any possibility be benefited by it. This censure may on the whole be too sweeping; but unquestionably a portion of it seems applicable. In the first place if the village of Lahinch is to be preserved from the gradual encroachment of a turbulent sea, some such structure will be necessary. The causeway separating the houses from the waves is not more than a few yards wide; and the section of the pulverizing crest facing the sea presents a steep of only four or five yards in height. This is the only natural impediment intervening between the village and the violence of Liscannor Bay. But whether the proper site and proper mode of construction have been adopted, appear debateable. Some with the wisdom of experience think that, even at the cost of narrowing the fashionable promenade in front of the village, the battlement should not have been placed so far forward in the full force of the breakers. The original estimate allowed £1,800 for the completion of the construction; and Mr Halpin swore at Ennistymon Presentment Sessions that the work had altogether cost him £3,233, for which he presented his accounts for public examination. The Magistrates and cess-payers allowed him half of £1400 proved by the contractor to have been expended over the amount in his contract; and that decision was ratified by the Grand Jury at the recent assizes. ‘Man’s control stops with the shore’ says a noble poet, descanting on the might of the ocean; and if ruined fabric at Lahinch serve no other purpose, it will once more illustrate the folly of building upon sand.
Waves at Lahinch, 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd_oMQ-GKAg


Sheila

Sduddy
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Lahinch sea wall versus the Atlantic Ocean, 1875

Post by Sduddy » Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:06 am

Clare Freeman, Wed 31 Jan 1877:
For the last three days the weather has been exceedingly severe and boisterous, the wind which blew from the North West, frequently approaching a hurricane, and stripping several roof tops. The floods experienced have inundated many dwellings in the lower part of the town, and the river Fergus has everywhere overflowed its banks. It is however gratifying to state that we have not heard of any material damage being done in this locality. From Lahinch we learn that the new sea wall, built at a cost of £2,200, was yesterday nearly totally washed away.
Clare Freeman, Sat 3 Feb 1877:
Nature and Art – Nature in some of her freaks spares nothing. The seawall of Lanhinch that was to bide the change of time and waves, is sadly marred. About one third of the entire wall has been completely carried away – off to Kilstiffeen rumour says. It was deservedly a fine piece of art work; but the “Wild waves play, “ has made sad havoc of defence, and now poor Lahinch is at the mercy of the sea. In fact it would not require a prophet to foresee that a part, at least, of the Town is doomed. What was heretofore an airy promenade for the visitors to the seaside, is now a gaping chasm, rent and torm to the very house fronts. One thing is pretty certain, our Clare Engineers must attend little closer to the vis inertiae of the wild Atlantic taken in tow by a strong ‘nor wester,’ when next they undertake to defend Lahinch. Correspondent.
Sheila

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