NEWS

Fears of 'bank' collapse in Donegal

“I will be bringing this matter up with council officials as a matter of urgency' - Cllr. Tom Conaghan

Matt Britton

Reporter:

Matt Britton

Email:

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Fears of 'bank' collapse in Donegal

One of the most popular walking areas in the county, the famous Bank Walk in Donegal Town, is under threat with trees toppling over as the ground underneath them gives way.
The harsh winter, coupled with unprecedented rainfall in the past year, continues to take its toll on many of the large trees that make the walk so special.
Locals have expressed fears that it could lead to a landfall and collapse a lot of ground on the already steep incline.
The walk, a favourite with hundreds of locals for many years, is home to a wide variety of trees directly overlooking the river Eske and also offers unrivalled views of Donegal Bay. Many of these trees are well over 100 years old and are now suffering from the ravages of time.
Paul O'Sullivan, who lives in Drumcliffe, told the Democrat: “There is now a great danger that with all the subsidence there is a realistic danger of yet another landfall in the area.
“These trees are extremely heavy and are bringing quite a lot of ground with them.
“Earlier this year we did witness an incident where one of the large trees fell onto the busy ‘Stone bridge’ narrowly missing both pedestrians and vehicles. It was a miracle that nobody was killed or injured.
“Furthermore the trees that are directly adjacent to the road here in Drumcliffe are sitting on very shallow banks of land and would be prone to similar problems.
“It is an awful shame as the trees are part of our heritage and the river walk is one of the undiscovered tourism gems in the town with great potential,” he said.

Matter of urgency
Cllr. Tom Conaghan told the Democrat yesterday morning: “It is an area that I am well familiar with having spurred on the regeneration of the Bank Walk when I was Mayor. It is an area that practically every young person in the town would have spent a lot of their childhood. It harbours great memories.
“I will be bringing this matter up with council officials as a matter of urgency.
“This is a highly cherished area in Donegal and cannot be neglected.”
A number of years ago the area known as “the far bank” suffered from severe landfalls which led to the county council having to close off the area for quite some time.
The effect of the weather with the unprecedented amount of rainfall followed by the much publicised storms has seen many of these large trees just subsiding into the river at quite an alarming rate.

"The trees that are directly adjacent to the road here in Drumcliffe are sitting on very shallow banks of land and would be prone to similar problems.
“It is an awful shame as the trees are part of our heritage and the river walk is one of the undiscovered tourism gems in the town with great potential,” he said.

Matter of urgency
Cllr. Tom Conaghan told the Democrat yesterday morning: “It is an area that I am well familiar with having spurred on the regeneration of the Bank Walk when I was Mayor.
“I will be bringing this matter up with council officials as a matter of urgency.
“This is a highly cherished area in Donegal and cannot be neglected.”
Among the many reviews of the walk, the Lonely Planet wrote: “Follow this lovely flat trail along the west bank of the River Eske and Donegal Bay. The myriad trees offer shade and have labels as to their type; frequent benches allow you to pause and soak up the views.
“Look out for all the little fairy doors in the trees; there's even a post box for children to write letters to fairies.
“It's 1.5km each way and begins on the west side of the Killybeg Rd/N56 bridge.