Ex-Garda ‘likely to have disturbed human remains’ at protected monument
RETIRED GARDA is likely to have “removed and disturbed human remains” when he damaged a Bronze Age burial mound in County Wicklow, a court has heard.
Tony (also known as Thomas) Hand, aged 69, had denied interfering with the national monument at Carrig, Blessington by taking stones from the protected site on the night of 4 May, 2011... continues...
I was heading south for Church mountain and glanced down to my right as I entered Blessington. Seeing the temporary fencing I quickly diverted and decided to check it out. And oh dear, what a mess! Already a neglected and overgrown monument, with a kids' playground butted up to its west side, now the ignominy of a skate park to its east.
Sounding desperately like a killjoy to myself here, let it be said that the more playgrounds and skate parks for our kids, the better. But come on – allow the ancient burial site a bit of room to breathe. The beginnings of the ground work on the east side cut right into the edge of the external bank.
The whole project seems to have gone ahead with a lack of thought – what's going to happen to the barrow now, given that the council has already treated it with such disdain? I get the feeling that they'd prefer if it just went away. Shame.
This site is actually visible from the N81, down on the right-hand side as you enter the town of Blessington from the north, opposite the Topaz garage and behind the Aldi.
When I stumbled upon it and saw its current situation beside a childrens' playground I laughed out loud. I climbed the tallest climbing frame to take a few snaps, explaining to the mother and her child about the 3,000 year old burial mound.
Absolutely fascinating that this is still here – they even diverted the road around it. It's quite overgrown at the moment, rose-bay willow herb colonising the southern end, but the fosse and bank are still very visible, with the centre of the mound quite flat, either robbed of some of its material or designed like that. (A lot of the barrows hereabouts have similar problems)
This one is a survivor, lying there as the hustle and bustle of a busy town goes on around it, bang in front of your face and invisible. Great.