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20 February 2015
Retired policeman convicted of damage to a protected site

In a rare case of prosecution in the case of criminal damage to a listed monument, a court in County Wicklow (Ireland) found a retired policeman guilty of criminal damage to a Bronze Age burial mound at Carrig, Blessington. The site in question was the recipient of a Preservation Order, under the National Monuments Act in 2005.
     There were several witnesses to the alleged vandalism, and in his defence the policeman had said he had bought the land to plant and nurture trees but the witness, seeing him moving barrow loads of stones, said "He wasn't planting potatoes"!
     Archaeologist Chris Corlett, was called as a witness for the prosecution as he was very familiar with the site and its layout. He stated when questioned "There is a strong likelihood that human remains have been removed and disturbed and that artefacts may have been removed. The whole understanding of the monument was compromised". The ex-policeman was remanded on bail pending sentencing.

Edited from thejournal.ie (30 January 2015)

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