The impact of a declining population and coastal erosion are being felt in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, the Dingle peninsula.
Rapid emigration has meant a population decline of nearly thirty per cent for the Dingle peninsula over a thirty year period. To counteract this decline, the people of the area have formed a Protection and Development Association. The association hopes to address the emigration problem by focusing on local enterprise.
The Dingle peninsula is not just experiencing a population decline but is also suffering from coastal erosion.
Sean Bowler of the Protection and Development Association explains that even when the rest of the country was experiencing a growing population, the Dingle region was experiencing a decline.
If it continues, then nothing will be here.
The association hopes to revitalise the economy of the region through tourism and fishing. According to R V Cortlandt Herbst, the development plan along with investment in tourism and fishing will create a multiplier effect.
The Maharees area has been particularly affected by both coastal erosion and depopulation. State aid is needed to reconstruct roads lost due to coastal erosion. This infrastructure is required if people are to stay in the Maharees.
Sean Bowler stresses the need for an influx of capital investment. Fixing the infrastructural problems and constructing a new pier will provide some incentive for young people to remain in the area.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 May 1989. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.