A large “crater” believed to be six foot deep has been causing great distress for South Fermanagh residents for five months and there are fears that this gaping giant hole on the side of a grass verge could lead to a major accident.

Concerns were raised to this newspaper this week about a pothole near the village of Magheraveely. It has been revealed that the Department for Infrastructure has known about the hole which they describe as a culvert for five months but still it has not been repaired much to the anger of the local community.

The hole estimated as “two foot in diameter and “three or four foot deep if not more,” by businessman Eamon Fitzpatrick.

The Department of Infrastructure has since told this newspaper, that the hole is a culvert, a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road.

It is not understood how long the crater has been this deep or if it has developed rapidly in recent days. The Department of Infrastructure confirmed they were aware of this culvert from May of this year.

This newspaper visited the hole which was described by Mr Fitzpatrick as a “pot hole crater”. Mr Fitzgerald then got inside the crater which revealed it to be significantly deeper, around an estimated six foot deep.

The crater like culvert is on Ballagh Road heading toward Ballagh just outside the village of Magherveeley. It is located on a particularly bendy section of the road with hidden bends.

Mr. Fitzpatrick travels on the road frequently delivering fuel to residents in his lorries.

He spoke to this newspaper and said: “The hole is 18 inches if not two foot in diameter and it must be three or foot deep if not more. It is surrounded by a line of cones to mark it out that are just sitting there, and they keep getting knocked all over the road with people driving past or hitting them, if it is a windy night, the cones just blow all over the place.”

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Mr. Fitzpatrick is gravely concerned for those who travel the road and the community.

He added: “I can’t understand how someone has not gone into the hole.”

The hole is stressful for Mr. Fitzpatrick as a business owner who uses this road himself as well as his staff.

He said: “We are up and down that road with regular all the time with lorries, if you come down that road in a lorry and there is a right bit of weight in her and you meet someone in the corner and you’re going to have to keep in, the lorry would be in the hole and that would be it.”

The issue of the culvert has been raised with the road service by residents, but Mr. Fitzpatrick isn’t optimistic about a quick solution. He said: “It’s going to take someone to do something about it because they are not on for doing anything about it quickly.”

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The Impartial Reporter contacted the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) and enquired were they aware of the pothole on Ballagh Road and how long ago was the issue reported.

A DFI spokesperson said: “During an inspection in May 2021 a defective culvert near the grass verge was identified on Ballagh Road, outside the village of Magheraveely.

“The area has been made safe while we wait on a contractor to carry out the necessary works to replace the culvert and we continue to monitor the situation at this location.

“The road remains open to all road users.”