An Taisce has written to Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs calling on her to act immediately to preserve the Bronze Age Oakwood built Roadway at Mayne Bog, Coole, Co Westmeath.
Dr Mark Clinton, An Taisce’s Antiquities and Monuments Officer stated, “Officers of the National Monuments Service recently noted 45 small pits in adjacent areas of the bog to the location of the Bronze Age Oakwood-built Roadway.
"This is an Internationally important monument that is still capable of being saved from total destruction. These pits would have been dug by illegal metal-detector operators. 45 'hits' could have equated with 45 ancient objects of antiquity.”
He continued “How much longer is the Minister going to stand idly by while this monument of International importance is destroyed?”
In today’s letter, An Taisce called on the Minister to:
(i) Place the Roadway on the RMP List to afford it immediate statutory protection
(ii) Preserve the section located in the High Bog
(iii) Undertake a licensed metal detector survey of the route of the Roadway
(iv) Undertake a Probe Survey to determine the full extent and trajectory of the roadway on the remaining uncut section of High Bog.
(v) Undertake an archaeological excavation of the exposed roadway in the cut-bog area before it is destroyed. A number of oak timbers, especially those with interesting features, to be retrieved and properly preserved for future public display.
Dr Clinton concluded “It is totally unacceptable that a monument of such clear International significance, discovered as far back as 2006, is still not fully protected by the laws of the Irish State.”