Friday 15 December 2017

Major landslide sees 4,000 tonnes of bog close popular Galway tourist route

The scene of the landslide earlier today Photo: Andrew Downes
The scene of the landslide earlier today Photo: Andrew Downes
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A major landslide in Galway has closed off one of the most popular tourists routes in the region.

More than 4,000 tonnes of bog land has collapsed onto the N59 the main route into Connemara which connects Galway city to Clifden, with more bog material continuing to pour onto the route.

The landslide began at 7pm yesterday evening just five miles from Clifden town. After initially getting the landslide under control by midnight, a significant landslide at 3am exacerbated the problem.

Galway County Council crews worked throughout the night to try and manage the damage, however, they warned that the collapsing bog land was still seriously unstable with bog continuing to  “flow” onto the road.

The area had suffered heavy rain on Sunday followed by cloudburst yesterday which caused the problem.

Liam Gavin of Galway County Council described the landslide as significant and warned that any clean-up was being greatly hampered by the type of material and the continued vulnerability of the surrounding bog.

He said the continuing slide was very difficult to stop as sandbags would have not impact and the material could not be cleared up with tankers.

Diversions have been put in place with the council warning motorists to expect an additional 45 minutes to be added to their journey. As the road is the main route into Connemara it is the main artery for tourists and bus tours.

Mr Gavin asked motorists to use caution. He could not give a timeframe for reopening the road adding that it was currently a “waiting game”.

Motorists travelling to and from Clifden are advised to use the Inagh Valley route into Letterfrack, or travel via Roundstone.

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