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Treasure island on the market for €6,000/ac

The 44ac site where the Derrynaflan chalice was discovered is part of a 184ac land sale in Tipperary, reports Jim O'Brien

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High ground: An aerial view of the 184ac for sale at Derrynaflan

High ground: An aerial view of the 184ac for sale at Derrynaflan

The 44ac monastic 'island' in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey where the treasures were discovered in 1980

The 44ac monastic 'island' in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey where the treasures were discovered in 1980

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High ground: An aerial view of the 184ac for sale at Derrynaflan

Mention Derrynaflan and people of a certain vintage will remember the discovery of the famous chalice and paten along with other mediaeval ecclesiastical treasures.

An island of high ground in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey in Tipperary, Derrynaflan is the site of an ancient monastic settlement known locally as 'the Gobán Saor'.

In 1980 Clonmel businessman Michael Webb and his son Mike were exploring the surrounds of the ruined monastery with metal detectors when they discovered the hoard that included a chalice, similar to the Ardagh chalice, along with other treasures.

The material dates from the late eighth or early ninth centuries and could have been buried at a time when Viking raids were penetrating inland from the coast.

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The 44ac monastic 'island' in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey where the treasures were discovered in 1980

The 44ac monastic 'island' in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey where the treasures were discovered in 1980

The 44ac monastic 'island' in the Bog of Lurgoe near Horse and Jockey where the treasures were discovered in 1980

Said to have been founded by Ruadhán of Lorrha in the 6th century, the monastery was revived by the Franciscans who had a community there between 1676 and 1717.

Derrynaflan is also reputed to be the burial place of the Gobán Saor, a legendary builder and smith of the sixth and early seventh centuries associated with the building of monasteries.

It was said of him that "the fame of Gobban as a builder in wood as well as stone would exist in Ireland to the end of time."

Today, the storied 44ac piece of land is up for sale along with two other parcels of ground extending to 80ac and 60ac. Auctioneer John FitzGerald of Dougan FitzGerald has been managing the land rental on behalf of the owner for the last number of years.

The 44ac Derrynaflan island containing the ruins of the monastery is surrounded by peat land and reached by a right of way.

According to Mr FitzGerald the island is made up of decent grazing ground. "There's a wildness to it, but the monks never settled on bad land," he said. This parcel is guided at €6,000/ac.

An 80ac portion is made up of good and fair grassland laid out in 15 fields with a small area in forestry. The parcel has dual access and is guided at €6,500/ac.

The final lot of 60ac has the best of the land where 45ac is currently in tillage and 15ac is comprised of moderate grazing ground. With road frontage and access, this is guided at €9,000/ac. The entire will also be offered at €935,000.

The historic property will be sold at auction at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, on Thursday, September 10 at 3pm.

Indo Farming