Northern Ireland

Glenariff: Farmer's safety concerns over cliff-top landslide

The landslide at Dermot McDonnell's farm in the Glens of Antrim Image copyright Dermot McDonnell
Image caption Dermot McDonnell, photographed standing in the debris, said he believes 23 of his sheep may have been buried by the overnight landslide

A farmer has raised safety fears after heavy rain caused a landslide that dumped "thousands of tonnes" of rock and soil onto his County Antrim farm.

Dermot McDonnell said 23 of his sheep are missing since the overnight landslide took place at his cliff-top farm at Kilmore, near Glenariff.

He said boulders "wiped out" ash trees and fears further movement could pose a risk to his house and the road below.

He said he has informed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mr McDonnell, 56, said it was the biggest landslide he has seen in the area in his life.

He told the BBC it was still being carried downhill by the heavy rain on Tuesday afternoon.

Image copyright Dermot McDonnell
Image caption Dermot McDonnell's house is downhill from the landslide and he said the debris is still moving because it is still raining

The sheep and cattle farmer grazes his livestock on about 100 acres of land near cliffs in Kilmore and regularly inspects the animals at the spot where the landslide took place.

He said he believed his life would have been at risk if he had been walking in the area at the time, and fears his missing sheep may have been buried in the debris.

Mr McDonnell blamed the landslide on days of heavy rain, following a very wet December.

He has called for assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to reinstate the grazing land he has lost.

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