The people of Annagassan in Louth fear coastal erosion could mean the end of their village.

In Annagassan, County Louth coastal erosion is an enduring battle. For years local people have been engaged in keeping the sea at bay. In an attempt to save his land from the winter high tides, farmer Sean O'Neill and his son Fergus are setting railway sleepers into the strand at Salterstown just outside the Annagassan.

Sean O’Neill describes how much of his land has been lost due to coastal erosion. He is carrying out the coastal protection work at his own cost but if cohesive action is not taken within the next five years,

The water will be right in on top of our land and we’ll have nothing.

Sean O’Neill’s brother Paul runs Annagassan’s pub The Glyde Inn. The sea at high tide now comes within 12 feet of his back door. Paul O’Neill recently lost 10 feet in two big tides and over the past 20 years,

I could see my garden disappearing inch by inch.

Since the 1980s Louth County Councillor John McConville has been highlighting the coast erosion issue to the Department of the Marine,

We have an awful lot of soft coastline and that’s been eroded on a gradual basis every year.

Councillor John McConville is clear a coastal erosion fund is needed for Annagassan. While £30,000 has been allocated for a survey, local people already footing the bill to protect their land need more supports in place. At a minimum, Sean O’Neill’s would like to see a grant allocated towards the coastal protection work required.

Paul O’Neil warns, if the authorities

Don’t do something very quick there’ll be a lot of premises ending up in the tide and farms as well.

The villagers fear if action is not taken quickly, there will be nothing left of Annagassan.

A 'Nationwide’ report broadcast on 12 August 1996. The reporter is Nick Coffey.