Wednesday 19 June 2019

Sixty bodies from Bronze Age found on Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave's former land

An archaeological search taking place on Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave home, Beech Park, a bungalow set in 16 acres of residentially zoned land on Scholarstown Road. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM
An archaeological search taking place on Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave home, Beech Park, a bungalow set in 16 acres of residentially zoned land on Scholarstown Road. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM
An archaeological search taking place on Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave home, Beech Park, pictured, a bungalow set in 16 acres of residentially zoned land on Scholarstown Road. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Beechpark, the former home of the late Liam Cosgrave, on Scholarstown Road, Knocklyon. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The bodies of an estimated 60 people from the Bronze Age have been found during an archaeological dig on land in Templeogue where former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave lived.

The land, which is earmarked for housing development, is also believed to have evidence of Iron Age occupation and a ring fort and is being looked on as a very significant historical find.

Last week Independent.ie reported how the excavations being carried out on the land were a mystery to locals since work began last October.

South Dublin County Council would not comment on the dig, and local councillors could not get answers to their questions on the project.

But sources have now revealed that the site, on the Scholarstown Road close to Knocklyon, is of major significance.

“It is believed this was a Bronze Age burial site, and that people from the Iron Age used the site as a shrine or place of some sort of place of gathering,” the source said.

Evidence of a ring fort was also uncovered by archaeologists, the source added.

The Bronze Age in Ireland lasted from about 2000BC to 500BC. The Iron Age followed, lasting until around 400AD.

Former Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave lived in a humble bungalow called Beech Park on the 16 acres of prime residential zoned land until his death in 2017 at the age of 97.

Last year it was reported that property developers Ardstone Capital were understood to have entered into exclusive talks with property agents JLL with a view to acquiring the potentially lucrative site for around €32m.

Property industry sources estimate the grounds of Mr Cosgrave's former home could accommodate about 200 houses.

Reacting to the news that the site is believed to be a large Bronze Age burial site, local  Independent councillor Deirdre O’Donovan said it was an exciting development.

“This is so exciting, and my main thoughts now are how do we preserve this,” she told Independent.ie.

“As a community this is very important and is something the people of Knocklyon will really value. It has a massive educational and heritage importance,” she added.

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