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Pics: Journeying into the abandoned mines of Ireland

The mines are visited by ‘urban explorers’ – but can be dangerous places.

Image: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/

Updated 2.51pm

THEY LIE ABANDONED and unused – and in most cases, dangerous – but Ireland’s former mines have a particular allure for those who like to explore the unseen parts of Ireland.

A group of these ‘urban explorers’, who are part of a larger urban explorer community in Ireland and the rest of the world, have recently launched the Abandoned Mines of Ireland website, which catalogues photographs they have taken during their journeys into the mines.

One of the people behind the site, who calls himself Urbex Junkie, shared his photographs with TheJournal.ie.

He said that the group have been exploring different buildings and structures for the past eight years, particularly abandoned sites. When they went to Sligo, they discovered the mines at Benbulben, and got hooked on the idea of visiting more abandoned mines.

“We knew nothing about them – I didn’t even know they existed,” he said.

We didn’t really have much to go on. After that, we collected information and scoured the internet. We educated ourselves about how mines work. That became our playground.

The older coal mines would be quite dangerous. Many of the coal mines in Roscommon, for example, are on a public pathway called miner’s way. However, the explorers urge caution – there is a risk of falling into a mine shaft.

“You have to have your wits about you,” said the explorer. “You have to know what to look out for.”

They educated themselves on safety by watching YouTube videos and getting in touch with other mine explorers. They learned about the signs of mine collapse and the hidden dangers of abandoned mines.

The explorers maintain that it is not illegal to visit the mines, and that they tend to be located off public walkways.

“We go in knowing what we’re going into. We know the dangers as we say. You have to have your wits about you.”

Mining Heritage in Ireland

The Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland was founded in 1996 with an aim of developing public awareness, appreciation, conservation and enjoyment of Irish mining heritage. It is not connected with the Abandoned Mines of Ireland explorers.

It has restored buildings connected with mining in Ireland, and notes that mining began in Ireland around 7,000 years ago. For more historical information on Ireland’s mines, visit the Mining Heritage Trust’s website.

Pics: Journeying into the abandoned mines of Ireland
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  • Shallee

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Shallee

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Shallee

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Shallee

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Rockhill

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Rockhill

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Lynnes

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Lynnes

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  • Lynnes

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  • Greaghnageeragh

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Greaghnageeragh

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  • Glackanadarragh

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  • Glackanadarragh

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  • Glackanadarragh

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  • Geevagh

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Geevagh

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Benbulben

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Benbulben

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Benbulben

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Arigna

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/
  • Arigna

    Source: http://www.abandonedminesofireland.com/

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