Archaeological find on Limerick school site

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

FIRST of all new homes had to be built for badgers living on the site of a new school in Doon, now there has been an archaeological discovery.

FIRST of all new homes had to be built for badgers living on the site of a new school in Doon, now there has been an archaeological discovery.

Rumours have been flying around Doon for the past fortnight that bones were found in Kilmoylan, then a rare sail and finally a fulacht fia.

A number of parents contacted the Leader and Deputy Niall Collins fearing that the state-of-the-art 850 pupil secondary school will be further delayed.

Scoil na Trionóide Naofa will see the amalgamation of St Fintan’s CBS and St Joseph’s in Doon and St Michael’s in Cappamore. Work was expected to commence in April to be ready for September 2013. Now the planned opening date is February 2014.

A spokesperson for the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) said a planned archaeological assessment was carried out on site.

“During this assessment, a number of linear features and pits were uncovered,” said a spokesperson.

According to one archaeologist, these could point to “anything”.

“It is very hard for them to say for a while. Once something is found you go back and review,” the explained.

The NDFA spokesperson say at this stage none of the features are understood to be of archaeological significance.

“However, the areas are being protected to allow for further invest-igation by archae-ologists. The features uncovered all lie outside the footprint of the new school building and it is not envisaged that their resolution by the archaeologists will impact on the delivery date for the new school in 2014,” said spokesperson.

In cases where something is found an archaeologist says you go back and review.

“You just don’t plough ahead. You stop, take stock and put together results of your test excavation. You go back and consult both with the planning authority and National Monuments Service under the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. They issued the excavation licence in the first place. If you find something you have to revert back to them,” they said.

Deputy Niall Collins, who has previously raised the delay in the Dail, said it is “very important to the local community that construction isn’t delayed any further and that this minor archaeological issue should be dealt with as speedily as possible”.

In October, the Leader reported that new setts had to be specially built for badgers as they were living on the site.