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Magheracloone GAA Club

Monaghan sinkhole: Surface around five houses and along public road now being assessed

Mining company Gyproc is liaising with families and has also offered to replace the damaged GAA club building. / YouTube

THE EARTH AROUND five houses and along two public roads near an area where a sinkhole appeared in Co Monaghan is to be examined.

An Preliminary Assessment Report into what caused a sinkhole at a Monaghan GAA club has found that recent mining operations involving water storage caused pillars to collapse in some parts of the mine.

The initial report found that the transport and storage of water in an old part of the mine that hadn’t been used for water storage previously resulted in the collapse of some pillars. It said that this was the most likely cause of the sinkhole.

Mining company Gyproc said the report “identified a unique and complex set of circumstances as being the most likely cause”.

The report also indicates that the “disturbance area” or the area affected by the sinkhole, is at a 120m radius around the Monaghan GAA Club.

It added that danger signs evident here do not appear elsewhere in the area, but geological investigations are ongoing.

It’s possible that the ground could split or sink further around the GAA club as the earth settles, the report said, but it would be confined to the 120m radius.

Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey of Ireland, told Morning Ireland yesterday that it was unlikely that Magheracloone GAA Club  would be able to return to its grounds at the area.

When asked directly if there will be more collapses, he added:

The short answer is we don’t know if there will be more collapses… The only thing is to monitor the situation.

Assessing houses in the area

Outside of the actual disturbance zone, the ground around five houses and two stretches of public road has also been earmarked for investigation. 

Monaghan County Council said that the Carrickmacross/Kingscourt Road (R179) will remain closed from Drumgossatt Crossroads to O’Rourkes Filling Station at Drummond while investigations are being carried out.

“Further, more detailed, geological assessment is necessary to ascertain the conditions beneath the R179 Kingscourt to Carrickmacross Road and the L4900 Drumgossat
road,” he said.

The LP4900 to Drumgossatt will also remain closed, and traffic between Carrickmacross and Kingscourt is being diverted via Shercock.

The road closures are projected to remain in effect until mid-October, the council said.

Gyproc says that it has been in regular contact with the families in the affected houses to ensure they have appropriate support and have also appointed a family liaison officer from the company. It said:

Gyproc remains in regular contact with Magheracloone GAA Club and Community Centre and has also offered its support to replace the damaged facility.
Gyproc is in regular contact with the relevant experts from Monaghan County Council and other authorities to assess the situation and ensure appropriate support measures are in place to minimise disruption.

Monaghan County Council officials, representatives of Gyproc, members of An Garda Síochána, members from the exploration and mining division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and a representative from the EPA met yesterday afternoon and are liaising on the next course of action.

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