Heritage to the fore in novel REPS 4 course
The historic landscape around Tulsk, Co Roscommon, was the setting for an innovative farmers' training day, which was held to coincide with Heritage Week.
Most of the 100 participants at the Roscommon event were attending a REPS 4 archaeological course organised by local Teagasc adviser Kieran Kenny.
This included indoor information sessions at the Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in Tulsk and visits to some of the most important archaeological sites in the area.
Most of the farmers on the course have archaeological sites on their own farms and Mr Kenny stressed the important role landowners play in preserving monuments, which can date back more than 8,000 years.
"Farmers and landowners play a vital role in protecting and preserving our heritage," Mr Kenny said.
"Most of Ireland's 120,000 archaeological monuments are located on farms. The aim of this REPS archaeological course is to help farmers continue to preserve the historic landscape for the benefit of future generations."
More than 200 archaeological sites, in a four-square-mile area around Tulsk, were used by the first farmers to settle in the area. Here, they lived their lives in a practical, spiritual and ceremonial way.
The Teagasc course included a visit to the great mound of Rathcroghan -- the palace and sacred burial place for the kings and queens of Connacht, including the infamous warrior Queen Maeve.