Collapse of pillars as result of mining operation 'probably reason' for sinkholes in rural Monaghan

The collapse of pillars as a result of recent mining operations has been cited as the "probably reason" that a large sinkhole opened on the grounds of Magheracloone GAA Club in Monaghan.

An independent technical report to investigate the possible causes of the subsidence identified a "unique and complex" set of circumstances as being the most likely cause.

The report pointed to recent mining operations involving the transport and storage of water in an old part of the mine, previously unused for water storage, resulted in the collapse of some mining pillars. It said that this is the probable reason for the subsidence.

The report indicates that these circumstances do not appear to be present elsewhere in the vicinity.

However, Gyproc, which owns the mine, is taking all precautions and conducting further investigations to ensure this is the case. It also warned that there may be further subsidence in the coming weeks

"We can now verify that the area of subsidence, known technically as the disturbance zone, at Magheracloone GAA Club is approximately 120m in radius. Within this 120m radius area at the GAA Club there is the possibility of further subsidence as the ground settles over the coming weeks.

"Gyproc is confident that this will be confined within this 120m radius," said a statement

Outside of the actual disturbance zone, an area of investigation including five houses and two stretches of public road has been identified.

Gyproc said it is in regular contact with the five families to ensure they have appropriate support. It has also appointed an experienced family liaison officer from the company to ensure the families have as much help from Gyproc as possible.

Gyproc said it also remains in regular contact with Magheracloone GAA Club and Community Centre and has also offered its support to replace the damaged facility.

The company is liaising 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.

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