Monaghan school evacuated after huge sinkhole opens up nearby

The mine operator has identified five properties that may be at risk following the collapse

Monaghan school evacuated after huge sinkhole opens up nearby

A sinkhole opens up on a Monaghan GAA pitch

Updated 18:15

A Monaghan Primary School has been evacuated after a massive sinkhole opened up nearby.

In a Facebook announcement, Dromgossatt National School said the damage was caused by the collapse of an old mine near to the local community centre.

The local GAA pitch and clubhouse has also been severely damaged.

This afternoon, the school said it had been forced to close immediately, and urged parents to collect children “as soon as possible.”

The Health and Safety Authority has said it is aware of the case, but no injuries have been reported to it.

Emergency service and Monaghan County Council are both at the scene.

A Garda spokesperson said the school had been evacuated “as a precaution.”

“Gardaí are at the scene of an incident at Macheracloon, Co. Monaghan,” she said.

“The Kings Court to Carrickmacross road R179 is currently closed and diversions are in place.”

The mine is owned and operated by wallboard manufacturer Gyproc.

The company has confirmed an “incidence of subsidence" affecting Magheracloone GAA Club and the surrounding area.

In a statement this afternoon, it said it has been "assessing the situation with the assistance of geological teams to ascertain both the reason for and the extent of the subsidence."

This evening, it said it had completed an initial assessment across the underground working area of its Drumgossatt mine – which spans around two square kilometres.

It said it had identified five properties around the perimeter of the area which may be at risk.

“We are working with the residents of those properties to assess the potential impact from the incident,” it said.

The company said it believes that all areas outside the zone are “unaffected by the incident,” however it pledged to continue liaising with local residents and authorities to keep them updated on the situation.

“Our main priority is the safety of local residents, our employees and ensuring no significant environmental impact,” it said.

“Our teams will continue to work diligently to investigate the issue and implement a solution from there. “