Friday , March 31 2023

The couple said to demolish the sea pool at their home


Justice Mary Faherty: The public government had to have access to the beach. Picture: Courtpix
Justice Mary Faherty: The public government had to have access to the beach. Picture: Courtpix

The High Court has ordered a couple to remove a marine protection dike that was mostly built on the coastal state and blocked public access along a beach.

The road was built in 1990 to protect a seafront home at the Blind Port, Reen, Union Hall in Co Cork.

It was built by a previous owner of the property that the French couple Pierre and Catherine Damiens bought in 2000 as a holiday home.

Justice Ms Mary Faherty has decided that, based on the evidence available, reasonable and safe access to the beach for the public requires the removal of the dyke.

The court heard that Blind Harbor became Damiens' permanent house in 2006, two years earlier decided to build a seawater swimming pool in front of the property.

In March 2006, the Department of the Environment received a complaint about the pool. Following an inspection, it was found that the dyke was built mainly under the high water mark – or the coastal state – and any such structure required a license.

It was recommended that it be removed, as well as the seawater basin, which was partly built on the left bank of the country.

The department claimed that the dams blocked public access to the beach and was "an effort to privatize the forest area."

Although it offered some protection to Damiens property, it was not designed, constructed, localized or properly targeted, and there are concerns about its effectiveness in the event of a significant storm.

Damiens, through their expert, claimed that he had already resisted the test of time, being now in force for 28 years.

Any work done by them does not prevent access to the beach and many people use it without complaints.

There have been incursions on their property to which they have watched. Although they initially claimed that the dams and the pool were within their limits, they later said they were "the unfortunate victims of history," remarked Mrs. Justice Faherty.

They later accepted that part of the dyke is on state property.

In connection with the seawater pool, which they funded with a 15,000-euro bank loan in 2006, they spent another 15,000 euros in 2014 to make sure they did not go out of state ownership.

The court heard that when it bought the property, it was sold in the bidder's brochure as having an "insulated dig" in relation to the dyke.

Damiens's expert said he did not think the beach had a high level of amenity, and an excursion on the rock and rough terrain would make it dangerous for people walking on the beach. The department's expert disagreed.

Irish Independent

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