Tuesday 20 November 2018

VIDEO: 'It's devastating' - footage emerges of two more large sinkholes near GAA pitch closed indefinitely

The extent of the Monaghan sinkhole is clear when viewed from the air. Photo: Lou Metzger
The extent of the Monaghan sinkhole is clear when viewed from the air. 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

Olivia McGill and Conor McCrave

Footage of two more large sinkholes near the GAA pitch and community centre which was evacuated and closed indefinitely yesterday after a huge sinkhole opened up.

The grounds of Magheracloone GAA club was closed yesterday while an investigation was undertaken by mining company Gyproc, who run a Gypsum mining operation, and Monaghan County Council.

An exclusion area was set up and roads around the GAA grounds including the busy R179 where also closed.

As a geological examination of the region is underway this afternoon, new aerial photos have emerged showing land which has collapsed as a result of underground mining tunnels in Magheracloone Co Monaghan in another nearby field.

A statement from the company has said the affected area is across a 2km zone near the entrance to the mine.

“From our initial assessments conducted across the 2 sq km zone of the area above our underground mine at Drumgossatt, we believe the area of subsidence is confined to a radius of 120m only,” a spokesperson said.

Almost a dozen properties were identified for potential risk within the zone.

“We have identified five properties located at the perimeter of the 2 sq km zone and our experts are assessing those properties to determine if there is any risk arising from the subsidence,” the company said.

Francis Jones, chairman of Magheracloone GAA Club said although they haven't received the official result of the report yet, they know they "will be off the site for good."

"There is too much damage done," he told Independent.ie.

"There are still geologists in there doing reports on what caused it and how extensive the damage is, so it will be a few days before we get any clarity but will be off the site for good."

Mr Jones thanked the generous offers from neighbouring clubs, offering their pitches for training, which he says they will take up for the short term.

"Local clubs in Cavan, Monaghan and Meath have offered us use of their fields. We are thankful for that and will have to take them up on that but eventually we have to find an alternative field for training.

"We could have up to five different teams training every day on the pitch. There is a community centre there too, running events all the time. It's a headache none of us wanted.

"After we get the results of the examination by the geologists we will have to look at a long term option but at the moment we are in limbo. It’s an awful upheaval , it’s devastating.

"We have lost our club grounds and our sense of community."

A nearby school and houses were evacuated, roads were closed and the club shut down yesterday morning after an underground disused mine for gypsum rock caused part of the land to collapse.

The incident is still being investigated.

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