09 Dec 2021

Ballymahon MD Councillors call for the return of ancient stones

Ancient stones were stolen from Quaker Island

'Crucial' decision in respect of Bord na Mona made by An Bord Pleanala

Cllr Gerard Farrell has called for the return of ancient stones to Lough Ree

Ancient stones that were stolen from Quaker Island many years ago should be returned to the area, according to Cathaoirleach of Ballmahon Municipal District Cllr Gerard Farrell.

On Thursday afternoon last, Cllr Farrell called on Longford County Council to write to the Office of Public Works to have the ancient stones returned.

“The famous Quaker Island is steeped in history and heritage,” Cllr Farrell said.

“There were stones stolen from there about 30 years ago - Mick Cahill might remember this,” he quipped, to much laughter from his fellow councillors - some of whom joked that this was “long before our time”.

All joking aside, the councillors were in agreement that something should be done to have the stones returned to the area in the near future.

At the moment, according to Director of Services Barbara Heslin, these are in storage in Athenry.

“There would be concern that putting them out in the open air might cause damage to the stones,” she explained.

“They would be vulnerable to damage from weathering and from theft. But there might be some argument for putting them on display in a location that would have to be agreed by both the OPW and the National Museum.”

Councillors toyed with the idea of putting the stones on display in locations such as Barley Harbour, Thomas Ashe Hall or even Corlea Bog before concluding that they would write to the OPW.

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