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18 March 2007
Irish dolmen damaged by builders

It has been alleged that there were attempts to remove a dolmen at Grangebeg between Monasterevin and Kildare Town (Co Kildare, Ireland) recently. "The dolmen is under severe threat of damage due to building work that is being carried out on the site," said Barry Walsh, secretary of the Monasterevin Historical Society. Another member of the historical society noticed that some work was being carried out on the site last 3 March. He went back to the site at 7am and noticed that the earthwork surrounding the dolmen had been bulldozed and the stones had been covered by hedges and trees that had been uprooted from another part of the site. "I believe that hedges and trees had been gathered to be burned and this would have caused serious damage to the stones," he said.
     The concerned historian also alleges that a rath was removed from the site and is worried that another site of archaeological interest close by could also be in danger. "I contacted the council offices when they opened at 9am and they sent out an enforcement officer from the planning department at 11am," he said. According to Barry Walsh: "Work stopped immediately on the site and as far as I am aware work is still suspended." When the men returned to the site, all the shrubbery had been cleared away, but it appeared that there had been some damage done to the stones. Members of the historical society feel that the dolmen should be restored to its original position. "We would also like to see a public access route to it and a protective fence put around it," said Mr Walsh. "It is important to protect it as there aren't many in Kildare and it could be developed as a tourist attractions."

Source: Kildare Nationalist (15 March 2007)

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