‘It’s like something you’d see in a movie’: Thousands of tonnes of bog slide down mountain in Leitrim

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Farmland and roads are covered with peat, and some families have evacuated their homes as a precaution.

THE IRISH FARMERS’ Association (IFA) and Leitrim County Council are monitoring the situation after mudslides caused thousands of tonnes of bog to fall from Shass Mountain onto the land beneath it.

The mudslides started to happen on Sunday evening near the Drumkeeran area after heavy rain at the weekend.

Acres of farmland and some roads are covered with peat, and a number of families have evacuated their homes as a precaution.

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One, Drumkeeran IFA chairman Tommy Drugan said thousands of tonnes of bog slipped off the mountain and “came down into a river and misplaced the river then and moved in around the houses”.

“There would be a dozen farmers impacted and there would be five or six family homes where people had to move out because they were afraid to stay there at night because of the dangers of the bog coming in and demolishing their houses.

“It’s like something you’d see in a movie, it’s hard to imagine. Anybody who has come to see it said they couldn’t imagine how bad it was until they’ve seen it.”

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‘Catastrophic effects’ 

Drugan said the situation is being monitored but it’s “very hard to do anything at the moment” as there may be more movement. “This may not be over, especially if there’s more rain,” he said.

He explained that a prolonged dry spell caused the land in the bog to crack and following “unbelievable amounts of rain there for three or four days” the water “seemed to fill the cracks and move the bog”.

“It’s just hard to imagine the amount of bog that moved, and the fear is that there’s thousands and thousands of tonnes of bog up there if there comes more rain.”

The Dawn of Hope bridge was damaged in the mudslides but is still intact. Drugan said that if the bridge collapsed “it could cause absolutely catastrophic effects down the way”, adding: “We just don’t know what will happen.”

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