|30 April 2000
Protecting unexcavated Irish sites
Residents and archaeology society members have started a campaign to protect unexcavated archaeological sites from damage during the building of a road, west of Ashbourne, Co Meath (Ireland).
The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society and residents in Baltrasna and Fleenstown, Ashbourne, fear that seven out of 64 unexcavated sites in the area could be destroyed if the N2 realignment is built on a route identified by consultants for the project. The planned N2 realignment passes directly through four sites and within 100 metres of three others, said Mr Oliver Ward, Meath Archaeological and Historical Society Secretary.
The society has contacted Meath county manager Mr Joe Horan and the National Roads Authority to have the sites thoroughly excavated. It wants the N2 project reassessed in the light of the findings.
The threat to these sites, which include a ring ditch at Killegland and a large enclosure at Baltrasna, have also been brought to the attention of Duchas (the Heritage Service). Residents have obtained research material which shows that the sites date from 4000 BCE to around 1000 AD, providing evidence of continuous settlement in the Ashbourne area for thousands of years.
Meath county secretary Mr Kevin Stewart said the route chosen for the realignment will be required to undergo a comprehensive environmental impact assessment. This would deal with these issues.
Source: The Irish Times (20 April, 2000)
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