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STORM REPORT Not par for the course in Mulranny

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Mulranny Beach
OCEAN OF WATER? Mulranny Golf Club Secretary stands in front of what is usually the fifth green on the course. Water almost completely covers this part of the course. The real ocean is behind the green area on the horizon.

Not par for the course in Mulranny


Mulranny
Edwin McGreal

Scenically located overlooking Clew Bay, Mulranny Golf Club is known as one of the best winter golf courses in Mayo. Its firm, sand-based ground is amongst the driest around this time of year. Except this year.
As we walk the course with club secretary Patsy Noone, the damage caused by recent storms is apparent. Large rocks litter parts of the course, and the breadth of one flooded area is so large we’re not sure even Tiger Woods would manage to drive a shot from one side to the other.
Two full holes on the golf course are out of commission, although holes located furthest from the sea are still playable.
The Mayo News viewed the course on Wednesday last. The flooding had subsided somewhat, some of it naturally, some was pumped out. Members of the club, which is situated on commonage, had given freely of their time to clear a lot of the rocks, stones and litter that had washed in during the January storms.
An area that was used as a car park for access to the beach is now covered in rock.
Greenkeeper Ronan Mulvey is still working hard to pump out the floodwater, but the big concern in Mulranny Golf Club is not the clean-up. It’s stopping something similar or worse happening again, which could spell the end for the course.
“We have rock boulders at the sea-front here and they were a massive help. If they weren’t there the damage would have been much, much worse,” Patsy Noone told The Mayo News. “But that defence has been greatly weakened and if we get similar conditions hitting us here, a lot more damage will be done.”
The club is waiting for the land to be assessed by Mayo County Council. “Our main request would be for strengthening and improving of the rock armour and the barrier from the sea. If that’s not done, we’ll continue to be under threat here,” said Mr Noone.  
Nearby Mulranny Beach is still badly damaged with the access road to the local pier and the beach itself, now completely covered by rocks.