THERE ARE serious environmental concerns after days of heavy rain led to a massive mudslide in County Leitrim.
Tonnes of peat were lost in multiple landslides near Drunmkeeran, when the mountain bog slid down the Shass Mountain and through the Dawn of Hope Bridge, creating significant damage and, experts warn, lasting impact on the environment.
A number of roads remain blocked following the mudslides, and dozens of farms have been affected, with wet peat covering acres of land and rivers.
Serious landslides at Dawn of Hope Bridge. Drumkeerin Co Leitrim yesterday. Loads of water flowing off forestry plantation floor and clearfells. Land abuse and the bridge weakened by haulage of massive loads? Our #Leitrim peatlands flowing down our rivers?? Why? pic.twitter.com/uymBgEj6mi
— Edwina Guckian (@EdwinaGuckian) June 30, 2020
Drumkeeran Irish Farmers Association chairman told RTÉ News that the devastation was "like something out of a movie", and there are fears the land could move again if the rain continues.
"During the day you can monitor what is happening, but at night, if more bog was to move, then it would surround houses.
"It would have the power to demolish houses," he added.
Drone footage of the route of the landslide shows acres of destruction through the countryside.
Local community group Save Leitrim, who campaign against the widespread afforestation of non-native sitka trees, say the mudslides prove the need for further environmental protection.
More footage of the devastation from Drumkeerin #Leitrim we need environmental protection and the concerns of our communities to be take seriously. Sustainable communities sustainable land use sustainable farming and no more unsustainable plantation forestry. Changes needed now. pic.twitter.com/TmjQck05nx
— Save Leitrim (@SaveLeitrim) June 30, 2020
Leitrim County Council senior engineer Terence McGovern told RTÉ News that the slides appear to have been caused by a spell of good weather earlier in the summer which caused the bog to dry and develop cracks, which then filled with water when days of torrential rain arrived.
Fallout from recent heavy rain! Drumkieran IFA Chair Tommy Drugan brought Leitrim Co Chair Des McHugh and myself up to the "Dawn of Hope Bridge". Downstream dwellers and farmers will have some clean-up when this settles. @IFAmedia @LeitrimLive @TimCullinan_IFA @PatMurp87363400 pic.twitter.com/PYkOa58nNu
— John O Hanlon (@JohnOHa31486556) June 30, 2020
Leitrim County Council continue to "assess the situation and monitor its impacts", and have said emergency action will be taken if deemed necessary.