Sandymount sinkhole created by ‘water ingress’ to be repaired today

Cllr Dermot Lacey says locals concerned about ‘heavy building’ in area

Dublin City Council has said “initial investigations” have shown a sinkhole which appeared in a street in Sandymount was “created due to surface water ingress” over time.

The sinkhole appeared on the roadway just at the edge of the footpath outside the Mace shop on Sandymount Green at about 4pm on Wednesday last.

The collapse took away a section of road, including a two-metre section of double yellow lines.

The council has made a temporary repair and expects to continue work on making the surface good again on Monday and Tuesday.


In a statement the council’s press office said: “Dublin City Council crews have been on site on both Thursday and Friday and initial investigations have indicated that the void was created due to surface water ingress into the road subsurface over a period of time, causing erosion and creating the void.”

The crews put in place “a temporary traffic management plan for the weekend to support the safe passage of traffic and pedestrians through the junction and to ensure access to local businesses and properties is unimpeded”.

Cllr Dermot Lacey said there were concerns locally that “heavy building work” in the area may have created the sinkhole. He said without a full report such fears were bound to grow and he would be looking for the report in advance of Friday’s scheduled southeast area committee meeting.

“Sandymount was built on sand, and people would be worried about that and the Poolbeg Peninsula which was an old dump,” he said. “I am not saying the sinkhole was because of that, but people want to have their fears allayed.”

Sinkholes, which are defined as a sudden and unexpected subsidence causing sinking of the earth’s surface, are not uncommon in Dublin. In September 2020 a Dublin teenager got a surprise when one opened at St Mary’s Avenue North in Dublin 7 as he walked home from school. The same week locals spotted a hole on St Lawrence Road in Clontarf, north Dublin, which was substantial enough to threaten a car.

In June 2020 a large sinkhole opened in Castle Street in Dalkey, close to Dalkey Castle. It was later attributed to subsurface erosion caused by a damaged sewer.

In 2015 a sinkhole opened up on Dame Street in Dublin. It was 6ft deep and 2ft wide.

Sinkholes are found often in areas where karst topography exists and rocks are dissolved by slightly acidic water. The Dublin area is rich in limestone, the rock most commonly associated with karst formation.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist