I am familiar with the site and the area. Gyproc, part of the Saint Gobain construction materials provider, operates a gypsum mine in Drummond, County Monaghan, and has a factory in Kingscourt, County Cavan. The company employs more than 160 people in the Cavan-Monaghan area. Mining operations have been taking place in the area since 1936.
On 19 December 2018, a crown hole, often referred to as a sinkhole, developed in the area of the Drumgossatt mine. My Department, Monaghan County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency are working together to ensure that Gyproc carries out the necessary investigations to understand the development of the recent sinkhole in Magheracloone. A programme of works has been agreed between the parties, including site investigations. The results of investigations will be submitted by the company to the statutory authorities for monitoring and verification. Timelines have been set for these works, which will be adjusted and revised depending on results. The three statutory authorities continue to work closely to ensure that the situation is managed and resolved by the company as promptly as possible. As a precautionary measure, Monaghan County Council closed a section of the L4900 road to facilitate the investigative drilling which is ongoing at the location. I attended a meeting on 15 January in Carrickmacross which was held to allow representatives from the three statutory authorities, independent technical consultants and Gyproc to address concerns and questions from local residents affected by recent events.