Here are the areas in Ireland most at risk from sinkholes following incident at GAA pitch in Monaghan 8 months ago

Here are the areas in Ireland most at risk from sinkholes following incident at GAA pitch in Monaghan

The west is most at risk.

Following the news that a GAA pitch in Monaghan was destroyed by a sinkhole earlier this week, Gamma, a location intelligence software and services provider, have revealed the areas in Ireland that are most likely to be affected by subsidence events, such as sinkholes.

In case you're unaware, subsidence is defined as the sudden and unexpected ‘sinking’ of the earth’s surface and in extreme and rare cases, it can cause sinkholes.

Subsidence occurs when the earth’s surface ‘sinks’ unexpectedly and it can damage or destroy buildings, land and infrastructure.

Soil depth, soil type, rock type and historic underground structures can all have an effect on risk levels. The extent of subsidence, meanwhile, depends on underlying environmental factors and the design of building foundations.

Using their Perilfinder software, Gamma discovered that the most at-risk areas in Ireland are in Galway, Clare and Roscommon - each of these counties has more than 15% of their total buildings falling within a high risk zone.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wexford and Wicklow are the least likely places to experience subsidence.

Sinkholes

In Galway, over a quarter (26%) of the 123,401 buildings in the county fall within such areas. That’s more than 31,500 structures – some 26,800 of which are residential dwellings.

In Clare, this percentage is just slightly lower at 24%, which equates to almost 12,000 buildings, including approximately 10,200 residential buildings. Meanwhile, 16% of the buildings in Roscommon fall within a high risk area, which is the equivalent of nearly 5,000 structures. Again, the majority (3,800) of those are residential structures.

Across Ireland as a whole, less than 5% of buildings (111,056 addresses) – both commercial and residential – fall within areas that are predisposed to subsidence events.

Feargal O’Neill, CEO of Gamma, said: “Sinkholes are extreme cases of subsidence and they are rare in Ireland. However, the consequences can be devastating. Thankfully, the recent land collapse on a GAA pitch in Monaghan didn’t result in any injuries, however, the sports field was damaged, the school had to be evacuated and surrounding roads were closed. Situations like this can cause significant damage and people can end up seriously hurt."