Kilkee Sea Wall


In January 2014 severe storms caused the failure of two sections of the seawall at the Esplanade, Kilkee, Co. Clare. 

The seawall is a protected structure, and its reinstatement required sensitively to retain the character of the original wall.

In discussions with the Conservation Officer it was agreed that at the northern section reconstruction of the seawall was the best means of retaining the original character due to the degree of damage which had been sustained. The original stone was to be reused in the reconstruction. Investigations revealed soft clays underlying the existing wall and required consideration of the appropriate foundations for the reconstructed wall. In order to provide adequate overall stability of the wall, an additional counterweight structure was to be provided as a permanent feature in front of the wall. This was to be in the form of new terracing which was to be kept at as low a level as possible to minimise visual interference with the protected structure behind, consistent with the need to provide sufficient weight. To provide the necessary stability the minimum outstand dimension of the terraces must extend beyond the dimension of the existing terraces. Edge protection was to be provided in the form of a robust steel railing.

Originally it was hoped that the southern section of the seawall could be stabilised without requiring any reconstruction, using the same counterweight construction. However as the works progressed it became apparent that this option was not feasible and a works instruction was issued by the client to reconstruct the southern section using the same techniques and methodology as the northern section.

ByrneLooby were engaged by the Contractor, BAM, to provide the following design inputs as part of the Contractor Designed elements of the scheme:
  • Detailed design and detailing of the replacement reinforced concrete seawall structure(s)
  • Category III Independent checking of the geotechnical design, which was prepared by AGL
The ByrneLooby commission involved considerable collaborative working with the Contractor, BAM, their geotechnical designer, AGL, and the clients Engineer, Michael Punch, in order to develop an optimised and robust solution for the replacement seawall sections. This included the elimination of the piled foundations shown on the conceptual design in favour of a deeper-seated shallow foundation.