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15 December 2007
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 extraordinary 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."
     Mr Boyle added there were 'many ways' to proceed. "They could cordon off a section of the headland and completely leave it, or they could excavate it and evaluate what's there, in the same way as they did at Four Knocks.T he other option would be to move it, maybe up towards the Delvin Bridge, but that would be unusual."

Source: Fingal Independent (5 December 2007)

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