Guided Walk at Barley Cove during National Heritage Week 2023
Photo by Rodney Daunt

11 September 2021. IRISH EXAMINER: Barleycove dunes formed ‘overnight’ thanks to Portuguese earthquake by Pádraig Hoare. The article discusses the water-laid sand deposit discovered at Barley Cove a few years ago. For an academic description see Anthony Beese in the Irish Quaternary Newsletter, No. 66, pages 5 to 7. See also the article by Jackie Keogh in The Southern Star, entitled Barleycove’s dunes caused by tsunami.

  • 26 March 2021. VIDEO LECTURE: Cork’s Underlying Problem. Cork’s history of flooding is discussed in a new presentation, which can be found at https://www.leeforum.org/video-lectures. Three types of flooding impact the city centre. They are tidal surges, river floods and groundwater flooding. As might be expected, given Cork’s status as an historic urban city built on an estuary, there are numerous flood risks that cannot be modelled. In particular, the risk from groundwater flooding is poorly understood (see drawing). The talk presents new evidence for perched water within the man-made filling. It seems that local aquifers are being fed by a number of sources including tidal flows, leaking water mains, and so on. Astonishingly, the tide has flowed over the estuarine mud since the medieval period and continues to appear in the city streets during flood events 800 years later! Moreover, there are also several major canals, now culverted, that also date back to the medieval period. Yes, its complicated!
A look at some of the flood risks at Cork (Anthony Beese)

March 2019. REPORT: Ground and groundwater conditions at Cork... The former landscapes of the city are presented in this report. The research is based on historical maps, archaeological records and engineering boreholes: https://www.leeforum.org/post/ground-groundwater-conditions-at-cork-and-implications-for-the-lower-lee-flood-relief-scheme-opw The review, which includes several new plans, indicates that there are many factors that impact flooding of the city centre, and that these factors make the implementation and operation of direct defences problematic (parapet walls, cut-off measures and pumping stations). Therefore, in the opinion of the author, the current OPW proposal is over-engineered and represents an experiment that is likely to fail. Reference to the report should be made as: Ground and groundwater conditions at Cork: Implications for the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme. Anthony Beese. Special Report No. 713/5D for Save Cork City. March 2019.


Anthony Beese is a professional geologist. His writing is based on geology, folklore, landscape archaeology and the historical environment.

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