VISITORS to a shipwreck disintegrating off the south coast of Cork are causing local residents to become “prisoners in their own homes” as they block driveways, heard councillors at a local authority meeting.
Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty called attention to the disintegrating wreckage of the MV Alta at Monday’s meeting of the Southern Committee of Cork County Council.
The vessel ran aground near Ballycotton during a storm in 2020, and poses a continuing danger to local residents.
“I read recently that following a PQ Question in the Dáil, there is a suggestion that some works will take place along the cliffs. Have we any update on what is being considered there,” asked Mr Hegarty during a report on Coastal and Flood Projects delivered by Director of Services, Kevin Morey, with Senior Engineer, Gillian Vaughan, of Cork County Council.
The Council has liaised with the Department of Transport to ensure that the wreck doesn’t pose a hazard to the environment.
The Department is carrying out an assessment of the safety issues.
“We’ve met with them subsequently and agreed between both parties, a programme of works that we will organise and deliver,” said Mr Morey.
Mr Morey said measures will be put in place to close off and to restrict any possible access with security fencing, close to the vessel, while putting increased signage on either side of it.
“There will be full public awareness of the risks involved, and secondly, that the public are prevented from ready access into a hazardous area,” he said.
“Those works are being tendered at the moment and they will be delivered in the coming months. Some minor works have been carried out as well on the vessel itself.”
Mr Hegarty said the residents and nearby landowners have become “quite agitated” with the influx of people visiting the wreck, passing through private lands.
“A lot of the residents have become prisoners in their own homes at certain times, with cars being abandoned, and access driveways being blocked. It’s important that we would be aware of exactly what is being proposed.”
Mr Morey said his team has liaised with landowners and there has been “good engagement”, and local residents “will see a benefit from what’s proposed".