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Thursday 17 October 2019

South Dublin locals object to 600-house development on archaeological dig

Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A group of south Dublin residents are calling on the local council to investigate two circular features they have discovered close to an ancient burial site on the lands once owned by former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

The Ballyboden Tidy Towns committee spotted the two circles on public lands while they were examining the archeological dig that was being carried out on the Cosgrave lands now owned by a property developer who has applied for planning permission to carry out works on the site.

While it is not known if the two newly discovered circles have any historical relevance, the committee want the area examined in case they may be of importance.

It was initially believed that the burial site on the Cosgrave lands may have been of Bronze Age origin but a report submitted to South Dublin County Council (SDCC) by the developers indicates that the remains are medieval.

Test excavations were carried out last August which confirmed the presence of a ring fort type of enclosure and human remains.

Thirty four grave cuts were recorded.

“A preliminary assessment would indicate that there are a minimum of 37 burials at this location, with more potentially surviving,” the survey says.

A number of other archeological features, including two bowl furnaces, a potential kiln, three post holes and two pits, were also found, indicating people had settled at the site.

The survey suggests that the site is of medium to high significance.

“The initial assessment has identified significant associated archeological potential in the form of human burial. Further excavations at the site may provide additional information to enable a fuller assessment of its significance,” the survey says.

Minister for Culture and Heritage Josepha Madigan has said the features discovered are common in nature and therefore there is no basis for making it subject to legal protection under the National Monuments Acts.

Local Fianna Fail TD John Lahart has called on Minister Madigan to publish a full report on the site’s archeological significance.

As part of its objection to the planning permission applied for by the property developers Ardstone, Ballyboden Tidy Towns has submitted a video of drone footage which recorded some of the findings of the archeological dig.

It says it hopes the video will serve a purpose in the understanding and appreciation of the landscape and heritage, both built and natural, in the area.

Ardstone purchased the lands last year after the death of Liam Cosgrave in 2017 at the age of 97.

It is understood it plans to build up to 600 homes on the 5.2 hectare site.

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