Wednesday 12 December 2018

Families warned of further sinkholes as collapse of pillars in mine identified as cause

  

Collapse: A still image taken from drone footage of the sinkholes in Co Monaghan. Photo: LOU METZGER
Collapse: A still image taken from drone footage of the sinkholes in Co Monaghan. Photo: LOU METZGER
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

A sinkhole that appeared in a GAA pitch was caused by the collapse of pillars in an underground mine.

Mining company Gyproc Ireland said an initial report found that "recent mining operations" which involved transporting and storing water in an old part of the mine resulted in the collapse of the pillars and that this was the "probable reason for the subsidence".

Worryingly for the families living in five houses near the GAA pitch, Gyproc said "further subsidence" was possible in the coming weeks as the ground continues to settle.

The massive sinkhole which tore through the pitch at Magheracloone GAA club in Co Monaghan first appeared on Monday morning. A community centre beside the pitch was also damaged. Further sinkholes have appeared in an adjoining field and five houses were evacuated.

Since then, geologists have been examining the area.

In a statement last night, a spokeswoman for Gyproc said the "disturbance zone" at the GAA club was around 120m in radius.

"Within this 120m radius area at the GAA club, there is the possibility of further subsidence as the ground settles over the coming weeks. Gyproc is confident that this will be confined within this 120m radius."

She said the company had appointed a family liaison officer to ensure the five families had as much help as possible.

Irish Independent

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