"Ireland's Stonehenge" site to be preserved
Carnbeg development will see site of monument maintained.
(Dundalk Democrat, page 3, November 7th, 2007)
By Anne Marie Eaton
A site of international archeological importance will not be interfered with if the planned arena and housing development at Carnbeg goes ahead.
The site on the Armagh Road is known as "Ireland's Stonehenge", and was once the location of a massive monument bigger than the Stonehenge which stands today in England.
County Council planners recommended that the site remain exempt from development when dealing with the major planning application for the housing and arena, the design of which has been inspired by Newgrange.
A report on the application stated, "It is important that the archeology on site is protected. A planning condition to secure a comprehensive archeological evaluation of the site prior to the commencement of the development will be included.
"In particular, I consider that it is very important that an area adjacent to the Armagh Road should not be interfered with in any way owing to the extent of known archeological sites located there."
The archeological importance was included as one of the 43 conditions attached to the application being granted.
It states that an archeologist must be appointed to carry out a geophysical survey of the site, who will then submit a written report to the planning authority and Department of the Environment.
There can be no site preparation or construction work until this process has been completed and the condition once again re-iterates, "The area to the front of the development adjoining the Armagh Road shall be kept free from development, protected from damage during construction and shall be maintained in a proper and satisfactory manner."
It has been recorded that the massive circular stone structure was still in existence at Carnbeg in 1748, but by 1907 it had vanished completely.
The exact site of Ireland's Stonehenge was unknown until 1988, when an aerial photo from 18 years earlier positively identified Carnbeg as the site of the structure.
Last year an archeological survey of the site revealed the remains of an enormous triple ringed structure beneath the surface.
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