Saturday 18 November 2017

Drumanagh site saved from scrambler threat

The panoramic Drumanagh site
The panoramic Drumanagh site

John Manning

Works have begun to secure the National Monument site at Drumanagh and bring to an end the site's use by 'scrambler' motorcycles which was putting the ancient promontory fort at risk.

Last November, Fingal County Council bought the site and last Thursday, after receiving ministerial consent for the work, it the local authority began to secure and preserve this important historical site for future generations and protect it against abuse and further damage.

According to a statement from Fingal County council: 'The aim of the works is to secure the site and to prevent unauthorized access by vehicles while continuing to allow pedestrian access to the headland.

'Fingal County Council acquired the 18 hectare site at Drumanagh last year. The site, which is a National Monument, contains a promontory fort and is one of the most impressive monuments of its type in Ireland.

'As part of the works, the remnants of a modern cattle shed will be removed and some perimeter fencing will be erected.

'Two pedestrian access points will be provided, one to the north near Loughshinny and one to the south of the site, together with a secured entrance for vehicles.

'Works will be carried out under archaeological supervision and will be completed by March 16. During this time there will continue to be full access to the site for walkers.'

Explaining why the council has felt it necessary to block unauthorised vehicles from entering the site, a local authority spokesperson said: 'In the recent past the site has been damaged by motorbike scrambling activity on several occasions. These works will prevent unauthorised vehicles, including motorcyles, from accessing the site.'

Fingal County Council's Heritage Officer, Gerry Clabby added: 'Given its importance, the council's first duty is to safeguard the site, to prevent damaging activities and to provide for safe and suitable public access to this remarkable landscape.'

The purchase of 46 acres of lands at Drumanagh, Loughshinny by Fingal County Council was completed last November at a cost of around €1 million.

The site includes a promontory fort which is an archaeological site of national significance and a Martello Tower. The promontory fort is a National Monument subject to statutory protection under the National Monuments Act.

Coincidentally, Loughshinny and Rush Historical Society are hosting a talk on 'Drumanagh: The Story So Far' at the Strand Bar in Rush on March 23 at 8pm.

The talk will be given by community archaeologist, Christine Baker from Skerries and promises to give a fascinating insight into the monument.

Fingal Independent

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