Matt Carthy MEP: Minister must act now to reassure South Monaghan following mine collapse
Matt Carthy MEP has confirmed that he has contacted Minister Denis Naughten demanding that a full independent appraisal be carried of all lands above and adjacent to Gypsum mine sites following the mine collapses throughout Magheracloone in South Monaghan this week.
Carthy said that he is seeking assurances from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment that a comprehensive investigation will be carried out and that compensatory measures will be put in place for affected residents.
The collapse of underground mining passages on Sunday night/Monday morning resulted in substantial land splits and ground movement resulting in major damage to the playing fields and buildings of Magheracloone GFC. The nearby Drumgossat National School was evacuated and the main Carrickmacross to Kingscourt road was closed for safety reasons.
Matt Carthy MEP said; “Concerns that this type of event was possible have been raised by many people in Magheracloone, especially those living above or nearby Gypsum’s network of mining passages, for several years. These concerns were continuously dismissed.
“Whilst everyone is thankful there was no injury or loss of life as a result of this incident it is now essential that people in the area are provided assurances that the remaining mine sites are safe. This assurance can only be delivered through a comprehensive and independent investigation. I have called on the Minister to deliver this as a matter of urgency.”
Carthy continued: “The pictures clearly show how dangerous the current situation is. There are many homes and businesses located nearby that may now be at risk. This occurrence will raise concerns regarding future property valuations and potential insurance premium rises. The concerns of local residents who have been so arrogantly dismissed in the past have been proven to have been well justified.”
The Sinn Féin representative concluded: “Parents in the community are rightly concerned about the safety of their children. If these sinkholes had developed during a juvenile GAA match we could’ve been looking at a major catastrophe. A tangible action plan, which includes an examination of all lands over and adjacent to mine sites, must be put in place immediately and Minister Naughten must announce this without delay.”