Sunday 1 November 2009

Planning permission denied on site of 17th-century massacre

An Bord Pleanála has ruled against plans by Cumclone Construction in Wicklow to build houses on land where, locals say, human remains are routinely found.

A 17th-century squabble that involved historians, a developer and hundreds of murdered peasants led to a British massacre on the site.

According to the stories, more than 300 of them perished in a church which was burned to the ground by British forces, enraged by an O'Toole clan raid on a castle in the 1640s. Locals say the discovery of remains by council officials in the 1930s was enough to put a halt to previous development.

Tom and Paddy Meyler had applied to build three houses on the site and, while they had initially been granted planning permission, this later lapsed in 2001.

A renewal of the application caused concern locally and meetings were held to form objections.

Eamonn Griffin of the National Graves Association (NGA), one of the objectors, noted Irish people have always shown a respect for the dead.

"Anytime anyone has gone near the area they have found remains. The reason this is important is that this is the last resting place of civilians who were massacred," he said.

However, developer Paddy Meyler had previously said that archeological reports carried out on the area showed there were no remains present. He also promised a memorial to the victims and a public car park.

An Bord Pleanála rejected the plans on four grounds.

Sunday Tribune

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