Proposed Pier Threatens Renowned Irish Surf Breaks

Mar 23, 2011
Outside Magazine

Ireland's West Coast Ireland's West Coast. Courtesy of Flickr

Surfers in Ireland are upset over a decision yesterday that threatens to render surfing at two of their dearest destinations on the country's West Coast both dangerous and boring, according to The Irish Times. Construction of a pier at Doolin Point to accommodate increased tourist activity has surfers worried that paddling out in the vicinity of the proposed pier will be dangerous and that the pier's effect on tidal dynamics will make the waves smaller.

The 32 Councilors of County Clare, who voted to move ahead with construction of the pier, don't feel the surfers' pain. Neither does the Irish Coast Guard, which voiced support for relieving the current overcrowded pier with a new one.

Those in favor of the new pier submitted a petition of 200 signatures to the Clare County Councilors. Now the surfers are mustering their own online petition in opposition of the pier.

Spearheading the fight are the Irish Surfing Association and the West Coast Surf Club. They contend that surfing at Doolin Point and Crab Island is a source of tourism and that losing the surf breaks will be a blow to the sport in Ireland and Europe.

Construction of the pier is slated to begin this summer, but as of yet, the plan is moving forward with only "conditional permission" granted by the County Clare Councilors. As the vested parties continue to argue for and against the economic and recreational values of the area, and as the weighing of those values gives task to the County Councilors, stayed tuned to Outside for further developments.


--Will Grant

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