In the pop-up visitor attraction stakes, Castleisland took an early lead on Saturday morning as a cavernous hole appeared in the lawn on the roadside of the Cahereen Heights Housing Estate. People came from near and far to see what many of them called a ‘Sink-Hole’ but this was anything but a natural occurrence. Furthermore, it comes as no surprise to the residents as it’s just something else to be added to the list of inadequacies on the estate. According to locals and residents, this is only the latest in a long line of complaints they have with the level of services on the estate. They say that they have been campaigning for better lighting and safer footpaths since the estate became habitable in early 2007.
Saturday morning’s installment came about with the collapse of the concrete slab on the surface water attenuation tanks. The tanks were buried under an estimated six to seven feet of earth and simply buckled under the weight of the water sodden earth and eventually caved in at about 9-30a.m. on Saturday morning.
Alarmingly for the locals there is a stench of sewage escaping from the holding tank and that should have been confined to surface water from the estate and from the public road which runs parallel to the estate. The site was visited early by Michael Healy Rae, TD and his brother Cllr. Danny Healy Rae and later in the afternoon by local representative, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell.
A recent survey of the state of the sewage system on the estate has left residents despairing as unsealed and leaking piping joints have come to light under the searching gaze of the cameras sent down to check the system. Saturday’s collapse could have even more serious consequences for the estate as the community gas holding tanks are buried only a short distance from the gaping and still expanding hole.
Local experts, going on the evidence uncovered by the collapse, feel that the thickness of the concrete slab and the quality and position of the re-inforcing iron were simply not up to holding the dead weight of the earth which was piled on it. Investigations will be carried out during the week to ascertain the exact cause of the collapse and to make the area safe with the health and interests of the many children on the estate uppermost in the minds of the authorities. You’ll be hearing more from this particular estate before too long.