Clare County Council has begun emergency coastal defence works near Quilty in west Clare because of fears that homes there could be flooded again.

Recent storms caused significant coastal erosion at Cloughaninchy, leaving private residential properties exposed to flooding by seawater.

The work being carried out by Clare County Council involves heavy machinery placing rocks, bags of gravel and a high stone bank as an interim flood defence barrier to protect up to 15 homes.

Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes today visited some of the worst-affected parts of Co Clare.

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On the overall cost of the storm damage, Mr Hayes said that it would be challenging but that the Government’s priority is to get the work started.

He said the Government will have to make sure that the funding is in place to assist affected communities.

A decision on seeking EU financial aid to assist in the repair work would be looked at, he said, when all the applications for funding are made by local authorities.

There is up to 100 days to make an application, he added.