High seas ‘caused damage at Cushendall’ - update, 4.30pm, Friday January 3

The debris-strewn Antrim Coast Road at Carnlough which had been closed for a time today (Friday). Picture from Twitter by 'Wee Round Ian' @wee_baldy_ian
The debris-strewn Antrim Coast Road at Carnlough which had been closed for a time today (Friday). Picture from Twitter by 'Wee Round Ian' @wee_baldy_ian

THE raging seas caused damage in Cushendall today (Friday), according to East Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan.

In the early afternoon he was concerned that someone would be washed away by waves he claimed were the worst he had ever seen in the area and were breaking at “40 to 50ft high”.

He said the situation was so bad at Cushendall that he urged the Council to close the beach to the public.

He said the sea wall was breached in two places and decking was washed away from a footbridge.

Parts of a playpark were under water and he was scared that a member of the public would be sucked out to sea by the ferocious waves.

He said: “If you don’t have to be on the Coast Road today stay away, and also from the beaches”.

The MLA said he was going to ask the police to put a car in the Cushendall area to deter people from getting close to the waves.

Mr McMullan also said the tide reached as far as the bottom of the Dalriada housing area in Cushendall leaving stones in its wake.

The storm meant the Rathlin Ferry had again fallen foul of the weather.

And there was also disruption on the roads.

On Friday morning, Roads Service issued the following statement to the Times: “A retaining wall has partially collapsed on Glassmullen Road Glenariff adjacent to house No 24.

“An initial assessment has been undertaken and it now requires the immediate closure of Glassmullen Road to through traffic from its junction with A43 Glenariff Road to its junction with C79 Glen Road.

“This action is precautionary to ensure that traffic does not destabilise the retaining wall any further. Access to premises along Glassmullen Road will only be available from either end of Glassmullen Road, the actual closure being at house No 24. A traffic diversion will be in place via Glenariff Road and Glen Road.

“Roads Service plan to carry out further detailed site investigations to initiate repair works as quickly as possible,” said the statement.

However, it is now understood the road could be closed for several days.

Another road leading to the Glens was blocked for a stage at Carnlough with much debris thrown onto the road by the waves battering the sea wall at the southern end of the village.

At Torr Head the high winds appeared to have been responsible for cables to fall low.