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School evacuates, road closes after sinkhole opens up in GAA grounds

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A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

Drone footage of Monaghan sinkhole
Photo: LOU METZGER

Drone footage of Monaghan sinkhole Photo: LOU METZGER

A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

Drumgossatt National School had to be evacuated today
Photo: Google Maps

Drumgossatt National School had to be evacuated today Photo: Google Maps

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A sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. Photo: Border Region TV

Shocking photographs have emerged of a sinkhole in the GAA grounds at Magheracloone, Co Monaghan.

The local national school has undergone an evacuation and sent an urgent message to parents to collect their children "as soon as possible".

The sinkhole is believed to have occurred following the collapse of the Gypsum Mine, which is located in the community centre area.

Photographs of the scene show substantial damage done to the GAA grounds and building. It is understood nobody was in the grounds at the time of the collapse.

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Drone footage of Monaghan sinkhole
Photo: LOU METZGER

Drone footage of Monaghan sinkhole Photo: LOU METZGER

Drone footage of Monaghan sinkhole Photo: LOU METZGER

Meanwhile, AA Roadwatch have declared a "serious incident" in the area and have appealed to drivers to avoid the Carrickmacross to Kingscourt Road.

Gardaí told Independent.ie; "Gardaí are at the scene of an incident at Macheracloon, Co. Monaghan.

"The Kings Court to Carrickmacross road R179 is currently closed and diversions are in place. A local school has been evacuated as a precaution."

In a statement issued to the parents, a spokesperson for Drumgossatt National School wrote; "Due to the collapse of the Gypsum Mine in the area of the community centre, the school will close immediately. Can parents please collect children as soon as possible. Please spread the word."

And in a statement to the Meath Chronicle, a spokesperson for Kingscourt-based firm Gyproc has confirmed there has been an incidence of subsidence in the grounds of Magheracloone GAA Club.

"We are currently assessing the situation with the assistance of geological teams to ascertain both the reason for and the extent of the subsidence," they said.

"We are liaising with local residents and authorities in the area to advise them of the incident and keep them updated.

"Our main priority is the safety of local residents, our employees and ensuring no significant environmental impact."

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Local councillor Colm Carthy said the district council were mid-meeting when the news broke this morning. 

“It was shocking. We were in the middle of our district council meeting when the senior engineer had to leave quickly to assess the damage,” Mr Carthy told Independent.ie. 

“There were no injuries or casualties, the community centre may have sustained some damage, but it most likely happened during the night and was only noticed this morning.”  

Mr Carthy added this is the first time he has seen this happen in the area and that some locals have “concerns” it may have a greater impact on the area. 

“It hasn’t happened to my knowledge; this area of the mine would be part of the older end of things. There are concerns locally that there would be further impact on the vicinity.”  

A spokesperson for Gyproc, who operate the mining operation, said they have investigated the incident and are confident surrounding areas are unaffected.

“Our assessment indicates that all areas outside of this zone are unaffected by the incident.

“We will continue to liaise with local residents and authorities in the area to keep them updated,” they said.

Monaghan County Council carried out an investigation of the site this afternoon and a geological survey will be undertaken by a UK based team tomorrow.

The Carrickmacross/Kingscourt Rd (R179) is closed due to the incident. AA Roadwatch have confirmed that a diversion is in place via Shercock. 

In a statement on Facebook, Magheracloone Mitchells GAA announced that the grounds were closed for the near future. 

“Magheracloone GFC pitches, Community Centre, car park etc have been closed for the foreseeable future due to a serious incident overnight. Nobody is to enter the grounds under any circumstances.”


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