The couple said to destroy the sea pool at their home

Mary Faherty's Justice: The ruling public had to have access to the beach. Picture: Courtpix
Mary Faherty's Justice: The ruling public had to have access to the beach. Picture: Courtpix

The High Court ordered a couple to remove the protective waves that were mostly built on the shores of the state and blocked public access along the beach.

The wave was built in 1990 and protected the waterfront in Blind Harbor, Reen, Union Hall in Co Cork.

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

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

The court found that Blind Harbor had become the home of Damiens' 2006 home when he decided to build a seawater pool two years ago into the front of the property.

In March 2006, the Environmental Department received a complaint about the pool. After the inspection, it was found that the breakwaters were predominantly built under a high water mark – or a state bank – and each such structure required a license.

It was recommended that it be removed as well as the seawater pool, which was partly built on the state bank.

The department argued that the breakwater blocked public access to the beach and was "an attempt to privatize the bank".

While it provided some protection to Damiens property, it was not properly designed, constructed, localized or oriented, and there was concern about its effectiveness in the event of a major storm.

The Damiens, through their expert, claimed they could withstand the time test, which is now 28 years old.

Any work they do does not prevent access to the beach and many people have used it without any complaints.

It has come to terms with its own closed eyes. Although they originally argued that the breakwaters and the pool are within their borders, they later said they were "unfortunate victims of history," Mrs. Faverty said.

Later they accepted that part of the breakwater was on state property.

In relation to the seawater pool, which funded a 15,000-euro bank loan in 2006, they spent an additional € 15,000 in 2014 to ensure that they do not expose to state property.

The Court heard that when they bought the property, it was marketed as a "private bridge" in the auctions brochure in relation to the breakwater.

A Damiens expert said he did not believe the beach was of high value, and the existing rock starting point and uneven terrain would mean it would be dangerous for people walking on the beach. The department's expert did not agree.

Irish Independent

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