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Video: Concerns over massive peat slide at Co Donegal bog

Footage shared online shows trees and tonnes of peat sliding downhill near Meenbog Wind Farm in Co Donegal.
Paul Ainsworth

CONSERVATIONISTS have expressed concern about a dramatic landslide resulting from peat slippage at a bog in Co Donegal.

Footage of trees being swept away as tonnes of peat slipped downhill near Meenbog Wind Farm, close to Ballybofey and the Co Tyrone border, went viral at the weekend.

The wind farm is owned by Invis Energy who said: "Invis Energy, owner of the Meenbog wind farm, confirms that a peat slippage occurred at the site.  There is no risk to public health.  We are working with the relevant authorities to fully address the matter. We are grateful to the local community for their continued support."

The local Gweebarra Conservation Group warned that thousands of tonnes of peat and conifer trees potentially entering the Mournebeg River was "a catastrophe for spawning salmon and trout".

The group also said it "remains to be seen" if drinking water would be affected and warned that as bogs are 'carbon sinks', an unknown quantity of carbon would have been released into the atmosphere.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said there was "no immediate concern for water services in the Finn Valley", due to the displaced peat and trees entering the river downstream of the Lough Mourne reservoir.

Both Donegal County Council and cross-border body The Loughs Agency are also investigating the incident near Barnesmore Gap.

Meanwhile, Derry City and Strabane Sinn Féin councillor Kieran McGuire urged NI Water to liaise with their counterparts in Irish Water to "urgently assess the situation" and ensure drinking water in both Co Donegal and Co Tyrone is safe.

He added: "This is an extremely worrying and developing situation."

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