The contract has been awarded to Archaeological Consultancy Services (ACS) Ltd. following an open, competitive tender process conducted in accordance with both national and EU public procurement procedures. ACS Ltd. is the company which carried out the initial archaeological investigations which uncovered the national monument site in 2003.
Minister Roche said "This contract flows from my approval of the key Working Group recommendation contained in its interim report. The interim report recommended that a supplementary research and investigation project be undertaken to review all available information, including archaeological assessments and investigations, and to undertake targeted excavation to answer specific questions about the site. These additional archaeological works are being undertaken in order to further investigate the nature, precise extent and significance of the national monument".
The works will be subject to the consent of the Minister under the National Monument Acts 1930 – 2004.
The site of the national monument, at which very substantial Viking elements have been uncovered, first came to light in 2003 during archaeological investigations in advance of the construction of the N25 Waterford City By-Pass. Some 5,000, mainly Viking related, artefacts and the grave of a Viking warrior have been discovered.
Given the major significance of the discovery, the Minister issued directions in May 2005 under the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 requiring that the site be secured and protected pending the development of a long-term strategy for its preservation and management. To this end he is being advised by a Working Group comprising:
Dept. of the Environment, Heritage & Local Govt.:
Mr. John McDermott (Working Group Chairperson), Mr. Brian Duffy (Chief Archaeologist), Dr. Ann Lynch (Senior Archaeologist) & Mr. Gerry Smith (Working Group Secretary);
National Museum of Ireland:
Dr. Patrick Wallace (Director) & Ms. Nessa O'Connor (Assistant Keeper of Antiquities);
Mr. Ian Doyle (Archaeologist);
National Roads Authority:
Ms. Dáire O'Rourke (Archaeologist);
Waterford City Council:
Mr. Eamonn McEneaney;
Mr. Maurice Hurley
A copy of the Working Group's Interim Report is available on the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government website www.environ.ie. Roche Announces Award of Woodstown Research Project Contract