Kilkenny sinkhole caused by closed mine in Galmoy

Sean Keane


Sean Keane

A North Kilkenny farmer and his son are lucky to be alive after a sink hole appeared on their land on Saturday, directly over a recently closed mine. Eddie Cavanagh, Galmoy was on his tractor less then 24 hours after a huge crater appeared on his farm directly above the mine shaft for the Galmoy mine which closed recently after 20 years of extracting lead and zinc ore from the land.

The two men had spent most of Friday spreading excess water from a slurry tank on the land and had retired for the night.

The following morning, Saturday, when Eddie looked out the side window of the kitchen he saw the deep hole.

It is about 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep and is located on a dry piece of land.

The roadside field is now bring guarded by security, however the Kilkenny People managed to get a video and photos (courtesy of Pat Moore).

Eddie’s wife is Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh, a member of Kilkenny county Council who said she is shocked by what happened and delighted her husband and son are alright.

A number of engineering assessments are being carried out to determine what caused the sinkhole.

A meeting is currently under way between the Environmental Protection Agency, representatives of Galmoy Mine and the Department of Natural Resources while Kilkenny County Council officials have visited the site and are ensuring that the mine owners are adhering to the conditions of their planning permission. When the planning application for the mine was being sought 23 years ago, objectors including Charlotte Colchester, Urlingford predicted this would happen.