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Spectacular Bog Slide at Pullyernan, Urney Parish, November 1900

Extracted from the Freeman’s Journal, Sydney, Australia: January 5, 1901
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia



The inhabitants living between Castlederg and Castlefin have been greatly startled by a singular occurrence which has changed the topographical appearance of hundreds of acres lying between Tyrone and Donegal. About 9 p.m. on November 22 last, some three hundred acres of Donegal bog suddenly set in motion and travelled about one and a half miles over the border into Donegal, crossing the public road, where it has completely submerged the bridge, and stopping only a short distance from the house of MR. YOUNG, of Raws. Before crossing the road it surged up in a westerly direction and would have completely engulfed the dwellinghouse of ROBERT CATTERSON, bog agent, only that the sally trees which are growing at the back acted as a buttress. All Catterson’s tillage land is submerged, as well as about ten acres belonging to MR. WILLIAM ORR, and a good deal of damage has been done to a lot of turf which the people had stacked near the road ready for drawing home. Catterson’s family had to abandon their house next day. MR. KING-EDWARDS, the landlord, visited the place and expressed the utmost sympathy with his bog agent.

The extent of the movement may be gathered from the fact that in some places the bog is said to be 200 feet in depth, while at the tail end it cannot be less than 20 feet in depth. The movement of the bog has long been expected. There is a prophecy current amongst the people that it would one day rise up and overwhelm Castlederg. In this instance the prophet erred, as it is in the Castlefin direction the bog moved.

The flow of water in Castlederg direction from the Donegal Bog has ceased, and as there are now three collections of water in the bog, which will ultimately force its way in some direction, it is feared will set the bog in motion again. The point where the bog crossed the road is about five feet higher since Friday. This places Mr. Young’s dwellinghouse to great strain, one part being overwhelmed. Crowds of people visited the scene on Sunday. The landlord (MR. KING-EDWARDS) has wired for an expert, and he will be able to determine, after an examination, whether there is any likelihood of further movement.