We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


'Explosions rattle my kitchen': One Meath homeowner is fighting a major quarry expansion

Concrete manufacturer Kilsaran wants to increase its Enfield quarry to more than 10 hectares.

PLANS FOR BUILDING supplies manufacturer Kilsaran to expand a quarry in Meath have been stalled following objections that explosions at the development are damaging local properties.

Last year, Kilsaran Concrete applied for planning permission to continue development at an existing quarry in Rathcore and Connellstown Townlands in Enfield.

The firm also applied for permission to expand the 9.7-hectare quarry by about 10%. It also committed to restore the site, which is over 30 hectares in total, to “beneficial ecological” use after the development was complete.

The quarry expansion was granted planning permission by Meath County Council at the beginning of August, however an objection has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

A local homeowner appealed for the council’s decision to be overturned because of the damage work at the quarry had already caused to her home.

She said that explosives were used at the development last October that resulted in “exceptionally high vibrations in the house, which caused items to rattle in the kitchen”.

She added that her house was renovated in early 2016 and before the vibrations in October there were no cracks visible in the house.

“After this explosion cracks were visible in the kitchen, stairs, shower room, two bedrooms on the first floor, on the exterior of the house and in the office in an out-building to the back of the house.”

crack123 Damage allegedly caused by quarry operations Meath County Council Meath County Council

Her submission, prepared by an independent chartered engineer, added that there were a number of cracks on the external walls before the explosions that were fixed but have now reappeared.

Another controlled explosion was carried out at the development in December. After this instance, another inspection of the woman’s property was carried out, and it was judged the cracks had increased and a number of new cracks formed.

The homeowner conceded that they had no issues with explosions causing damage to the property before last October.

The inspector noted that the property was built in the 1940s or 1950s and its foundations are not able to withstand vibrations caused by the explosives, adding they could cause “irreparable damage”.

Parts of the house need to be redecorated due to the damage already caused.

90428585_90428585 Eamonn Farrell / Eamonn Farrell / /

Below the threshold

An environmental impact report prepared for Kilsaran noted that there were eight to 10 blasts a year at the site, and 24 hours notice is given to homes within a 500m radius of the quarry before an explosion takes place.

There is currently no regional or local legislation related to noise and vibrations caused by the extraction of rock.

However, guidelines outline that the impact of vibrations on the local area should be monitored at the foundations of the nearest house to the quarry that is not owned by the developer.

“Monitoring of blasts have been and continue to be carried out at the site. The blast monitoring results have been and will continue to be submitted on a regular basis to Meath County Council for record purposes,” the report said.

It noted that blast-induced vibrations at the quarry are “well-below the threshold for cosmetic damage to buildings” and it was stated that any expansion at Enfield quarry would not have a “significant impact” on local properties.

This case is due to be decided by early next year.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.

Written by Killian Woods and posted on

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel