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30 November 2019
Conservation plan needed for Queen Maeve cairn

A meeting of Sligo County Council has heard there is an incredible amount of damage being done to one of the most significant Irish monuments, the stone cairn over Queen Maeve's grave on the summit of Knocknarea.
     Sinn Fein Councillor Chris MacManus says a small number of people climb on top of the cairn while Fine Gael Councillor Sinead Maguire says people can be seen coming down the mountain carrying rocks from the cairn. A local resident in the area also repoprted recently that some people have been digging up quartz stones from around the base of the cairn.
     Sligo County Council Senior Planner Frank Moylan told councillors the Office of Public Works is to advertise for consultants to prepare a conservation plan for the cairn. Councillor MacManus insists he does not want to see all access to the site blocked but he says the cairn must be protected.
     Queen Maeve is Ireland's most imposing Neolithic monument built in a stunning and highly visible location, the focus of the other monuments scattered across the Sligo neolithic landscape. The great cairn of Knocknarea has been probably built some time before 3,200 BCE. It is situated close to the highest part of the flat top of Knocknarea, 327 meters above the surrounding sea. The enormous mound is about 60 meters in diameter and is estimated to contain some 27,000 tons of stone.

Edited from Ocean.fm (12 November 2019)

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