Saturday, January 05, 2008

IRISH MEGALITHIC TOMBS THREATENED BY NEW PORT FACILITY

Ancient cairn complex unearthed in Ireland

A 300 million euro world class port facility, which is expected to be operational by 2012, is planned in Drogheda (co Louth, Ireland). But those plans may have to be altered after it emerged that an archaeological site, possibly on a par with Newgrange is located in
the area.

According to local historian, Paddy Boyle, the site is highly significant and could be the oldest in Fingal. "It's a national monument and a serious issue," Mr Boyle said. "They can't be
touched and are protected by EU law, so they'll have to come up with an acceptable solution. It's a complex of cairns, similar to what you might find in Loughcrew in County Meath. As far as I know, they've never been officially excavated. The largest cairn appears to have collapsed inwards, meaning it could be similar in construction to Newgrange, as it probably had an interior chamber."

Mr Boyle describe the site as "an extraodinary example of megalithic tombs, which could be of enormous value, both in terms of archaeology and tourism," Mr Boyle continued. "If they were of the mind to develop its archaeological sites in the future, it would probably be the oldest in the county and on a par with Newgrange and Loughcrew. The artist's impression of the new port doesn't show the tomb complex being retained in any way. In fact the roll-on roll-off terminal is positioned exactly where the tomb complex is located."

I've visited both Newgrange (see a previous entry about the winter solstice that thousands of folks come to) and Loughcrew and both are great experiences to see when visiting Ireland and County Meath. This is another one of those "stay tuned" stories!

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