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GAA club 'can't use grounds for years' after sinkhole split pitch

A sinkhole has split a GAA pitch in Co Monaghan. Picture from Twitter

A GAA club has said it will not be able to use its grounds "for a number of years" after a large sinkhole split one of its pitches in two.

The sinkhole, which emerged near Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan on Monday, caused severe damage to Magheracloone Mitchells GAC's grounds and buildings.

Drumgossatt National School was forced to evacuate but reopened yesterday.

It is understood the sinkhole was caused by the collapse of a disused gypsum mine.

In a statement, mining company Gyproc Ireland said it had carried out initial assessments of the site. It said the subsidence was confined to an area of around 120 metres above its mine.

Magheracloone Mitchells chairman Francis Jones said the club was shocked.

Mr Jones told RTÉ's Morning Ireland: "There's a crack straight across one of the juvenile pitches".

"It's subsided, as well as part of our main pitch and viewing area, which has also subsided and, in turn, caused damage to our clubhouse," he said.

"The biggest thing for us is the shock of it and the devastation to our football club and our community centre. We're all out of bounds now and going to be out of bounds for the foreseeable future".

A sinkhole in Co Monaghan has split a GAA pitch near Carrickmacross. Picture courtesy of Border TV

Mr Jones said the club would not be able to return to its ground for several years.

"Thankfully local clubs have contacted us offering their facilities and we're very grateful for that. We're going to be out of our grounds for a number of years."

Drumgossatt National School said in a statement yesterday: "We have been assured by 'Gyproc' that no mines are in close proximity to our school".

"We hope this reassures everyone regarding the safety of our school children and their teachers."

Gyproc Ireland said it had looked at a 2 sq km zone above its underground mine at Drumgossatt and believe the "area of subsidence is confined to a radius of 120m only".

"We have identified five properties located at the perimeter of the 2 sq km zone and our experts are assessing those properties to determine if there is any risk arising from the subsidence," a spokeswoman said.

She said areas outside the 2 sq km zone, including Drumgossatt National School, were not affected.

"We will continue to liaise with local residents in the area to keep them updated, and will work with the local authorities regarding a timeline for the opening of local roads," she said.

"Our main priority is the safety of local residents, our employees and ensuring no significant environmental impact."

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