Our Town Our River

Our Town Our River – The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme 

This project was one of the key capital investment projects by Wicklow County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) with an investment of €46 million and in October 2017 saw the completion of this vital Flood Defence Scheme.

The scheme comprised a variety of flood defences, including construction of new sections of earth embankments, demolition and rebuilding of river walls with extensive stone facing, channel excavation, regrading and riverbank strengthening.

A range of landscape treatments in and adjacent to the river are to mitigate the impacts of the scheme on the local environment along the river corridor. Along with the flood defences, there have been enhancement works that have transformed the local environment.

New and improved landscaping and walkways at the People’s Park, Ravenswell Road and the Lower Dargle Road. The Boardwalk which complements and provides linkage between the People’s Park and the Fran O’Toole Bridge.

The flood defences aim to provide protection against a 1-in-100-year fluvial flood and 1-in-200-year tidal flood.

Wicklow County Council would like to extend their sincere thanks to all the residents affected by the ongoing flood defence works for their continued co-operation and patience throughout the scheme.

The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme was be officially opened by  Mr Kevin “Boxer” Moran T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief on Wednesday 8th November  2017.

Caring for our local community amenities 

Wicklow County Council and the Office of Public Works have created some fantastic new amenities for local people and visitors alike to enjoy.

They include the boardwalk, new and improved landscaping and walkways at the People’s Park and Ravenswell Road. The benefits of these works have regenerated the area.

We all have a responsibility to protect and safeguard our town’s wonderful assets.

We would encourage community ownership and ask the public to report any anti-social behaviour to the relevant authorities.

Remember: It’s Our Town, Our River


An exhibition titled ‘Our Town Our River – The story of the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme’ was opened to the public on the 6th of November by Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District, Christopher Fox and ran until 17th of November 2017.

The exhibition showed how the river was used throughout the years and how the flood defence scheme and peripheral works have significantly enhanced the river and its immediate environs as well as highlighting the flooding incidents in 1905 and 1986.

The exhibition was a tremendous success and it was really encouraging to see the level of interest that people had in the scheme and the history.

The exhibition was visited by many local schools and groups. They were particularly interested to learn more about their local history and engineering skill of the scheme but singled out the archived video footage, which showed the severity of the flooding in 1986 and helped put the devastation into perspective. Their engagement was a credit to the schools, the teachers and the students.

Access the exhibitions contents online here:

The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme By Numbers…… 

  • 2 acres of new masonry walls were built – that’s the size of the Aviva Stadium pitch
  • 16 acres of grassed areas – that’s nearly the size of St. Stephen’s Green
  • 119 new public seats – that will nearly fill the mermaid centre
  • 18,000m2 of piling – that almost covers two Croke Park pitches
  • 94 new trees were planted – that’s a small forest
  • 2 acres of new public paving – that’s twice the public area of Bray Main Street
  • 1,000 concrete truck deliveries – enough to fill 3 Olympic swimming pools
  • 107,000 m3 of soil disposal – that’s 10,000 truck trips
  • 460 tonnes of steel – that’s the weight of one Boeing 747
  • 45,500 tonnes of rock protection – that’s the weight of 100 space stations
  • 10km of rock anchors – that’s from Bray to Powerscourt Waterfall


As part of the exhibition, a competition was held to find the best limerick composed about the Dargle River. There were three categories: Primary School, Transition Year and Adult. A big thanks to everyone who entered our competition.

Congratulations to Newcourt School, 6th class pupils at St. Peters National school and Mr Paddy Mullins all winners in the #OurTownOurRiver limerick competition. You can read the limericks here.


We would like to thank Brian White from the Bray Cualann Historical Society, Paul Carney and Kieran Leonard for helping put the exhibition together.

Read more about the exhibition here.

Community Engagement Plan 

Since the recommencement of the works back in 2014, we increased our communication output to help driving awareness about the progress of the scheme in print and online form.

We held a Public Information Evening in December 2015 which was very well attended and provided a good opportunity to meet people, explain the schemes works and to address any queries and concerns raised.

Read our Final Newsletter 



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Environmental News 

The Environmental Monitoring Committee comprised of representatives from the Office of Public Works, Inland Fisheries Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Local Angling interest, Community Representatives and Wicklow County Council meet every 6-8 weeks. Following the meeting, a memo will be prepared to detail the items raised and the actions to be taken.

The objectives of the Committee were to:

  • Ensure coordination of environmental mitigation measures
  • To monitor compliance with the mitigation measures set out in the EIS and liaise with appropriate authorities
  • Make observations/recommendations to the appropriate authorities via the Town Clerk (now District Administrator)
  • Facilitate liaison and communication between stakeholders represented in the committee

The Environmental Monitoring Committee held its last meeting on the 25th August 2017. The OPW and Wicklow County Council would like to sincerely thank the committee members for their positive contribution and hard work over the last 4 years.

To download the last Environmental Monitoring Committee Meeting Summary click here.

Click here to access and download the Environmental Impact Statement. 

Access and download Works drawings

Click here to access and download Landscape drawings for People’s Park.

Click here to access and download Irish Rail People’s Park proposed Phase 2 works

Thank You 

And so, this is the final newsletter about the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme. 31 years after ‘Hurricane Charlie’ devastated Little Bray in 1986, the people and environs are fully protected from a 1 in 100-year river flood event and a 1 in 200 tidal event.

On behalf of Wicklow County Council, the Office of Public Works and Tom Foley Management Ltd, we would like to express our thanks and appreciation to all the residents and property owners affected directly or indirectly by the works, for their patience and understanding during the disturbance that this type of work inevitably brings.