Bog Bursts, Co. Galway

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A.D.1745, March 28.- Bog of Addergoole, Dunmore, County Galway-
About mid-day, after a heavy thunder-shower, about 10 acres of bog, the front of which was being cut for turf, moved forward and down the course of a stream, and subsided upon a low pasture of 30 acres by the riverside, where it spread and settled, covering the whole. The stream thus dammed back, rose till it formed a lake of 300 acres, which, by the cutting of a channel, was subsequently reduced to 50 or 60 acres. This area, together with the 30 acres of meadow over which the bog spread, has been destroyed for purposes of husbandry.

Ref: Ouseley, Trans. R.I.A., vol. ii, Science, pp. 3-5, plate I., ?1887

A.D. 1821, September.-Joyce country, County Galway.-
“Upwards of a hundred acres of land, on which crops were growing and several families resided, were heard to emit a sound resembling thunder; the earth then became convulsed, and eventually this large tract moved down towards the sea, leaving the whole route over which it passed a complete waste.

A.D. 1873. October 1.-Bog 3 miles east of Dunmore, Co. Galway.
The bog was connected with the Dunmore river by the Carrabel, a small stream. It was considerably elevated above the surrounding country, its edges presenting the appearance of high turf banks. “A farmer digging potatoes suddenly observed a brown mass slowly approaching. Leaving his spade in the ground, he went for the neighbours, and on his return the mass of moving bog had half covered his potato field, and completely hidden his corn field from sight, except a few stacks which remained on a knoll, an island in the midst of a scene of desolation.” The bog slowly flowed down the valley of the Dunmore, burying three farm houses, and covering about 300 acres of pasture and arable land, 6 feet deep. The peat was cut along a perpendicular face, 25 to 30 feet in height, which extended down to the underlying gravel. It was from this cutting that the outburst took place, The flood of peat and water moved rapidly at first, but afterwards slowly, and continued in movement for 11 days. It carried away roads and bridges. The subsided portion of the bog extended eastwards from the face of the cutting for a distance of a quarter of a mile; its greatest breadth measured also a quarter of a mile, down the middle, a valley from 20 to 25 feet deep was formed, and about the sides the crust was torn asunder. The numerous crevasses so formed were fined to the top with black peaty fluid.

Ref: Savage, ‘Picturesque Ireland’ pp. 234-235

A.D. 1890. January 27.-Bog at Loughatorick North, Co. Galway
The bog is situated in the townland of Loughatorick North, on the Slieve Aughty Mountains, nearly on the watershed, and 300 feet above Ballinlough Lake, which lies N .E., and into which the bog drains by a small river. The bog consists of two portions, separated by a narrow neck, where exposed rock was seen after the outburst. The upper and larger part is 70 acres in extent, the lower only 15 acres. The latter began to move 3 days before the upper portion; in its centre was a small lake to which an underground stream could be traced; after the outburst, this lake became dry. After a fall of snow, a sudden thaw set in on the 24th January ; three days later a movement of the bog commenced, and continued till 1st February. Great masses of peat were carried away by the black flood into Ballinlough Lake, which was nearly filled with peat and the outwashed trunks of trees. The lowlands were covered with peat over an area of 100 acres:, and for a depth of 12 inches. Traces of the flood were visible to a height of 6 or 7 feet on the trunks of trees which stood in its course. The upper part of the bog subsided from 10 to 15 feet ; its margins were much rent with fissures.

Ref: Report to the Board of Public Works, by Mr. A.T. Pentland, 24th November 1890.

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