[Believe it or not, the post-excavation at Carrickmines is
continuing!] Vincent Salafia
Archaeological treasures being 'left exposed in
Massive road-building programme has seen a surge in
By JOHN DRENNAN
Sunday Independent - May 04
Priceless archaeological treasures are being "left exposed in
sites" because the National Museum of Ireland has accumulated so
artifacts that it has no place to store them.
consequence of the massive road-building programme is
that archaeology is one
of the State's largest growth industries.
This year more than €25m of the
National Road Authority's €1.68bn road
programme will be spent digging up
historical sites in the path of
roadways and saving the material unearthed
for the future.
But while the NRA's archaeological programme meets the
standards, the huge turnover of material has created a
crisis for the
cash-strapped National Museum.
Collins Barracks in
Dublin was the main storage area for finds. But,
according to Fine Gael
spokesperson on the arts Olivia Mitchell, it is
now so full that "curators
cannot even gain access to the material let
alone catalogue it''.
recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General revealed that
million objects were awaiting classification and that there had
four-fold increase in excavation licenses in a decade.
Authority says it expects to spend €300m on archaeological
digs over the life
span of Transport 21.
"It's like a conveyor belt at the moment, it won't
stop. The museum is
even telling archaeologists not to give them any more
the Fine Gael Deputy.
"We have a wealth of knowledge
lying in an undocumented heap exposed to
the elements or buried in an Indiana
Jones-like crypt in. It really is
appalling. People are on their hands and
knees picking material out of
sites and then it's being dumped in a
The controversy is set to be even more embarrassing because
will be hosting the World Archaeological Conference shortly --
distinguished guests may be told that while unused e-voting
are stored with care and attention archaeological treasures are
in the open air.
- JOHN DRENNAN
Save the Hill of Tara
from the M3 Motorway!