|14 June 2009
Prehistoric mounds under threat near Dublin
A €300m deep water port planned at Balbriggan Co Dublin (Ireland) is concerning archaeologists and experts. This scenic and archaeologically rich area is under threat from industrial development. Bremore contains 6000-year-old Neolithic tombs and has been mooted as the new M3 and many protests are expected to emerge against development of this area.
Bremore Passage tomb cemetery is located on a rocky promontory with extensive views of the coastline, as far north as the Mourne Mountains. The Bremore tombs belong to a wider group known as the Bremore/Gormanston group that extends long the coast on either side of the mouth of the river Delvin. This is in itself significant as it indicates they were a 'landing point' and the start of the western expansion of tombs inland to Fourknocks. Passage tombs are thought to have originated from Iberia and the Bremore tombs would therefore represent an early stage in the developmental sequence.
In the record of monuments it says that Bremore complex consists of five mounds, the largest measuring c.30m in diameter and c.3.3m in height. This is surrounded by four other mounds surviving from 9m-15m in diameter and from 0.5m-0.75m in height. This layout is typical of other passage tomb cemeteries. However on a recent inspection only four of these mounds have been found. Three of them have been recently mauled and disturbed by machinery, to the point where they are now imperiled. One large mound may survive as it is too big to drive a tractor on, the other three have been ploughed over and planted upon. Some of the surrounding kerb stones have been pulled loose and at least two of the mounds are only a thin shadow of what they recently were.
These mounds have been dated at six thousand years old, one more year of this, perhaps one more harvesting of the crop this year and what remains of them will sink back into the soil. These mounds are National Monuments, they are legally protected, they should be fenced off, regularly checked by a heritage officer or parks warden and damage to them stopped or corrected.
The signs that were there last year, National Monument Signs, warning signs, tourist signs etc have all been removed. The Minister of the Environment has been notified about this, so too has the National Monuments Office but nothing has been done. It is obvious that no one came out to check the site, or its condition and it looks the site is being prepared for its final destruction.
Source: Bremore.blogspot.com (31 May 2009), Indymedia Ireland (2 June 2009)
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