Work halted at Offaly site after ‘major find’ reported


Work has been halted on the site of a new housing estate in Co Offaly after builders reported an unusual find while digging the foundations.

The site was closed on Wednesday evening with officials from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the UCD School of Archeology present on Thursday for an inspection.

Media have been asked not to report the exact location of the site, but we can confirm it is in the south of the county.

One of the UCD researchers described the site as “incredible” when they left on Thursday evening.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” they told Offaly Live.

“This may be the most significant archaeological find in Ireland, possibly in Europe, in this century. It appears to be an elaborate burial ground or burial mound from the age iron, but it’s too early to tell.

“These cemeteries are often made up of one or two ditches containing remains and then covered with a mound of dirt. What we have here looks like a maze of circular burial ditches. Hundreds of people could be buried here. Extremely important. “

This would mean that the site dates back to around 1000 BC. A number of tools suggesting that the site relates to the Iron Age have already been found.

Work is currently underway to secure a large area of ​​land around the site with the construction of the 143 houses planned on hold.

The builder, however, is unhappy with the disruption and he believes the tools they found are his.

“This hammer is not from the Iron Age. I admit I have it from donkey years, but I wasn’t roaming the sites in 1000 BC. I think I got it at Homebase when he was in Tullamore, so how long ago was that?

“We have to get to work here now. I haven’t seen so many people looking down the only hole since the council came out to fix a pothole at home a few years ago. Now this Definitely dates back to the Iron Age, I still ride in it.

The council said a roads unit would be on hand to fix the pothole ‘within six years’, although a team of council officials arrived on site for a photo op next to the final hole in the ground at Offaly!

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