SAMRA began with a group of residents of Sandymount concerned at the creeping loss of beach and sea at Sandymount as an environmental and recreational amenity for the citizens of Dublin.
In 1957 Sandymount Residents Association was formed to end the use of Sandymount Strand as the main refuse dump for Dublin City. An agreement was reached with the then Dublin Corporation that all dumping would cease in 1963 at a point close to the city end of Beach Road near the present Sean Moore Road.
That Association expanded in 1965 to become the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association because of Dublin Corporation’s plans to fill in the whole of the Strands as far as the City boundary at Merrion Gates with municipal, industrial, and hazardous waste, in breach of the agreement, and the construction of a rubble causeway across Sandymount Strand by Roadstone to a site in the sea for an unauthorised cement plant. The causeway was described by Dublin Corporation as “a line of advance filling”. Neither the causeway nor the Roadstone site had any planning permission. The beaches had by that time been zoned as areas of High Amenity with the stated objective of declaring them an area of Special Amenity under the 1963 Planning Act.
Sandymount and Merrion Strands were used extensively by thousands of Dublin families as their seaside playground and, for many, their only affordable holiday resort.