Friday 23 August 2019

Newgrange of the south-east? Knockroe Passage Tomb has its own claim to fame

The megalithic burial site is unique, in that it aligns with both the rising and the setting sun.
The megalithic burial site is unique, in that it aligns with both the rising and the setting sun.
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Some call it the Newgrange of the south east, but Knockroe Passage Tomb, on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border, has its own claim to fame.

The megalithic burial site - it dates back more than 5,000 years - is unique, in that it aligns with both the rising and the setting sun.

Dr Muiris O’Suillivan, Associate Professor of Archaelogy at University College Dublin, who has led the excavation of the site over the past 25 years,  was among those who gathered this week for the Winter Solstice, to observe the sun’s rays passing through both its chambers, one with an eastern aspect and the other facing west. 

The historic monument and the solstice phenomenon is threatened by plans to build eight 126-metre high wind turbines on a hill overlooking the site, which is being opposed by locals, conservationists and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Tipperary County Council has refused planning permission, but the local authority’s ruling has been appealed and a Bord Pleanála decision is awaited in January.

Watch the rising sun:

... and the setting sun here:

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News