Dáil Éireann - Volume 598 - 24 February, 2005

Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

  183. Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he will be making a decision regarding the Viking site at Woodstown, County Waterford in the matter of whether he will issue a preservation order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6481/05]

[1007]   Mr. Roche:The site was discovered during the course of archaeological investigations in advance of the construction of the N25 — Waterford city bypass which were being carried out on behalf of Waterford City Council under the auspices of the NRA. A report on the outcome of these archaeological investigations which identified a previously unknown Viking site was submitted to my Department and is available on the NRA website. Subsequently my Department issued directions under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 requiring further studies to be carried out by the road developers to establish the archaeological potential of a marsh area at the western end of the site; the reports on the results of these additional [1008] investigations have now been submitted. The road developers have indicated that an alternative route which would avoid the site is feasible and is now their preferred option.

I have recently visited the Viking site at Woodstown and indicated that I am minded, subject to the statutory procedures, to direct its preservation pending the development of proposals for future archaeological investigation. Under the legislation I am obliged to consult with the Director of the National Museum before directions are issued as to how the site should be dealt with from an archaeological point of view. I would hope to initiate consultations with the director within the next week, and have these finalised soon, at which stage directions can be issued.