Thousands of gallons of water and tonnes of peat have been washed on to farmland following a landslide in Drumkerrin, Co Leitrim.
The dry weather of a couple of weeks ago caused the bog to crack and split, before heavy rain over the last number of days filled in the cracks and lifted the peat. Further rain then led to a landslide.
Local IFA Drumkerrin chair Tommy Drugan told the Irish Farmers Journal that it was estimated that 30ac to 40ac of bog had split.
“We had unprecedented rainfall here the last couple of days,” Drugan said.
“Thousands of tonnes of peat have moved fences and trees on a mountain nearby and people are fearful of what will happen if it continues to rain.”
A large amount of peat appeared to lodge and then spill over a bridge known as the Dawn of Hope in the area and continued downstream towards Lough Allen, flooding farmland and forcing some residents to leave their homes.
Drone footage shows the cumulative effects of wide scale plantation @coilltenews forestry at the Dawn of Hope Bridge bog slide in Drumkeeran No EIA on any plantation in #Leitrim to date & almost 20% of the total county planted. It is having a MASSIVE environmental impact pic.twitter.com/9aC0yIsILJ— Edwina Guckian (@EdwinaGuckian) June 30, 2020
Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon and Sligo IFA executive officer John O’Hanlon told the Irish Farmers Journal that substantial amounts of peat has been dumped up to 200m either side of the downstream river bank on farmland.
“We’re concerned about what will happen downstream.
“The bridge is still there, it didn’t collapse. The channel of the bridge became blocked and the peat began to build up.
“We believe the dry weather cracked the soil in the bogs, those cracks then filled up with the heavy rain and it has lifted the peat up.
“Some trees upstream have moved 200m to 300m,” he said, adding that an investigation into the incident will need to happen.
He said the river flows into Lough Allen and that “huge volumes” of peat are flowing down the river now and landing on farmland.
“Two houses were evacuated on Sunday evening,” O'Hanlon said.
Additional reporting from Hannah Quinn-Mulligan