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Massive sinkhole casued by collapse of storm water tank

IT is unclear whose responsibility it is to carry out emergency remedial works at a housing estate after a massive sinkhole developed overnight.

The area around the gaping hole on the Cahereen Heights estate in Castleisland, Co Kerry, was sealed off by Kerry County Council staff yesterday.

The estate, that has over 90 houses and a creche, was built by a private developer, so ultimately the local authority is not responsible for fixing anything that goes wrong there.

Local councillor Bobby O'Connell said residents were very concerned. He called on Liberty Insurance to release a €2.5m bond to cover the costs of fixing the hole.

Residents were shocked to wake up on Saturday morning to find a massive hole measuring around 18 by 10 foot and around 20 foot deep had developed on the green area of their estate. Tanks to collect surplus or storm water had been buried underneath the ground when the estate was built, and concrete poured on top of it before the green was landscaped.

The concrete ceiling collapsed at the weekend, leaving the huge hole in the middle of the green area where local children play. Fuel tanks for the estate are also located near to where the sinkhole developed.

Mr O'Connell says it's just another thing to go wrong on the estate.

"There was already a serious problem there with sewage and lighting but this is posing a more serious health and safety issue because of the number of children on the estate.

"It's obvious that adequate support wasn't put in when the tanks were buried in the ground. It must be fixed immediately and I'm calling on this bond to be released because the money is there to cover the cost," he said.

He added that residents were concerned over who would be responsible for it.