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VIDEO Bertra takes another hit from Storm Brigid

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Bertra takes another hit from Storm Brigid


Edwin McGreal

The damage caused to the iconic Bertra Beach outside Westport after Storm Christine in early January was bordering on catastrophic. However, Storm Brigid arrived on the night of January 31 and blew until the following morning, February 1, delivering another devastating blow.
Christine washed away 150 metres of sand dunes right in the centre of the beach. Brigid widened the breach by a further 30 metres.
Parcels of road along the entrance to the beach that withstood the initial storms have been wiped away, and only a couple of patches of tarmac remain in their original position.
The height of the great piles of rubble that were washed in has increased greatly too, making the clean-up job for Mayo County Council even greater.
Bertra Beach provides a natural sea-defence for the village of Murrisk on the south side of Clew Bay and also to Westport Quay. The spectre of further erosion is raising fears that these areas will become vulnerable to flooding in the future.
While plenty of people are still to be seen walking on the popular strand, Bertra’s future remains uncertain. The beach is the responsibility of Mayo County Council, but the cost of restoration works, which could climb a seven-figure sum, may prove a stumbling block.  

The entrance to Bertra Beach was further damaged by Storm Brigid.
TORN ASUNDER?The entrance to Bertra Beach was further damaged by Storm Brigid.?Pic: Michael McLaughlin