Wednesday 18 August 2010

Environmentalists outraged as ring forts levelled

Environmental campaigners want the 'full weight of the law' to be brought to bear following the destruction of two ancient ring forts.

Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) have written to Environment Minister John Gormley calling for prosecutions to follow the recent destruction of two north Cork ring forts - fortified settlements with raised walls of stone or banks of earth.

The demolished ring forts were located in the townland of Knockacareagh, near Killmurray in north Cork.

The group says it has confirmed with the Heritage Service of Cork County Council that the two listed ring forts were levelled.

A spokesman for the environmental group said gardaí visited the site because of the the failure of an individual to notify the intention to work under the National Monuments Act.

"There remain elements who believe they can destroy these sites at will because of the historic lack of enforcement. The full weight of the law must be brought to bear in this case. The message must go out across Ireland that (this) will not be tolerated and the national heritage will be protected."

It is understood that archaeologists from the Department of the Environment's National Monuments section are liaising with gardaí in north Cork as part of the investigation.

Ring forts were built and occupied between circa 400 AD and 1200 AD. About 35,000 ring fort sites are identifiable in Ireland today. Only about 250 have been archaeologically investigated.

The Irish Independent

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