Northern Ireland

Torrential rain leads to landslides in County Antrim

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Media captionDermot McAleese filmed the landslide near Cushendall

Torrential downpours over the weekend caused a series of landslides in County Antrim as up to 50mm of rain fell within a few hours.

The Altarichard Road between Cushendall and Magherahoney was closed as tonnes of mud and rocks poured down the hill.

Dermot McAleese filmed the landslide and has given the BBC access to his footage.

He said: "It was amazing to watch. It started off quite slow, about a half a mile up from the road."

He said pressure "just built up and then the mud, clay and peat slid down the hill and over the road".

He added: "We watched it for a couple of hours, my father was with me too, and he'd never seen anything like it."

Meanwhile, four guests at bed and breakfast accommodation in Glenariff had to be escorted off the premises by firefighters when a landslide dumped several hundred tonnes of rock and mud near the property.

Owner James McHenry, who has lived in the area for 60 years, said he had "never seen anything like it".

"Within 20 minutes there came this massive rush of rock, from small stones right up to great big, large stones weighing half a tonne and more," he said.

Image copyright Monica Gryncewicz
Image caption The Altarichard Road between Cushendall and Magherahoney was closed as tonnes of mud and rocks poured down the hill.

"They just came right down the mountainside via the stream and deposited itself in our yard.

"At one stage, I thought the house was going to come down, the mud and the debris was piled right up against our back door."

He said the house was flooded and the B&B had to close.

"Water came in the bank and went through to the front. Thankfully it was only water and not the boulders and mud."


Damage was also caused to part of the Slieveanorra mountain near Armoy in County Antrim when land gave way.

A landslide also closed the coast road between Carnlough and Waterfoot.

According to figures from the Met Office, 49.8mm of rain fell at Ballypatrick Forest Park near Ballycastle.

The Met Office also said 41.8mm of rain was recorded at Altnahinch Filters near Dunloy, and 32.4mm was registered in Killylane near Armoy.

"That amount of rain is not unusual for the likes of Ballypatrick," said a spokesperson for the Met Office.

"The ground would have been already fairly wet in the days leading up to Saturday, so it was a culmination of all the rain."

Image caption A surge of water deposited a large amount of debris at James McHenry's farmhouse
Image caption A garden path was washed away

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