Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (25)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

25. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the monitoring and actions to be taken to address the opening of a sinkhole at Magheracloone, County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41210/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

A land subsidence incident in the grounds of the Magheracloone GAA club was reported on Monday morning, 24th September, affecting lands above the disused underground gypsum mine at Drumgossatt, Co. Monaghan.  An investigation team engaged by the company, incorporating mining engineers from the UK, arrived at the site to assess the situation and determine the scale and cause of the subsidence and the risk of further events occurring in the area.

My Department’s senior geologists and I visited the site on Tuesday 25th September. 

Since the subsidence occurred, my officials have been liaising with the relevant regulatory authorities, i.e., Monaghan County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the company on an ongoing basis and have continued to monitor the situation closely.

Both current underground mining operations at Drummond in Co. Monaghan and Tara Mines in Navan, Co. Meath, as well as the recently closed mines at Galmoy and Lisheen, are subject to environmental monitoring, including subsidence monitoring. Operations at the disused Drumgossatt underground gypsum mine ceased in 1989. Subsidence monitoring has been undertaken at this site by Gyproc, the former mining operator, for well over a decade.  Gyproc also undertake subsidence monitoring at their nearby current mine (Drummond).

The cause of the collapse is the subject of a detailed investigation by Gyproc and its external mining consultants (SRK). The precise actions to be implemented, including future subsidence monitoring, will be informed by the findings of this report. In the interim, the Department continues to engage closely with Monaghan County Council, the EPA and the operator.