Summary of site:
The Earth Science Conservation Review, which is the subject of this web site, is an exercise to select Northern Irelandís best geological sites for designation and preservation for posterity. Usually there is an outstanding site of a particular rock category or phenomenon making selection easy but, occasionally, there are several contenders. Carrickreagh Quarry falls into this latter group.
The quarry is long abandoned but the rock exposure is particularly good and shows a section through the early and middle beds of the Ballyshannon Limestone Formation. There are three distinct divisions on the quarry face. At the base there are 10m of dark grey limestone bed, each 30-40cm thick with thin shale partings, then a characteristic thin, lilac-grey shale, topped by a series of thickening beds from around 30cm upwards, starting medium grey but paling towards the top of the face. The beds in this upper division contain a limited fauna of microfossils indicating a Chadian age (about 347 million years old).
This is one of many sites between Blaney and Enniskillen in contention for the best Ballyshannon Limestone Formation section. The top of the formation, where it is in contact with the base of the Bundoran Shale Formation, is well defined at Inisway just to the west, creating a concentration of interest favouring this area.
The threats are those normal to abandoned quarries, overgrowth and dumping being the most obvious. The morphology of the site would not lend it to land fill.