Corina Johnston, Labour Party Area Representative is deeply concerned that the highly significant archaeological find recently discovered in Corballis, Donabate could be undermined by a planning application which is currently with An Bord Pleanála.
Johnston said; “The Environmental Impact Assessment Report for this planning application was submitted in 2021 which was prior to the recent discovery of this archaeological find. It therefore fails to take into account the possible implications of this historic find. Efforts to date to bring this new information to An Bord Pleanála have been refused. The Bord have stated that under the SHD legislation it cannot take any further comments or information on this planning application.”Johnston said; “this archeological find was discovered by locals in fields at Corballis, Donabate, in recent weeks. Duncan Smith TD and I reported this to The National Monument Service who visited the site and confirmed that this can be classified as a souterrain (underground tunnel), a significant archaeological find which has now been added to the online non statutory Sites And Monuments Record. The National Monuments Service confirmed the monument will be noted for consideration for inclusion in any revisions of the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) which is a statutory record which affords a measure of legal protection under existing legislation.” Johnston continued; “ Fingal County arranged for an archaeological survey to be carried out on the Corballis lands in 2007. An Enclosure was discovered that also found the remains of copper, charcoal and bones. The recently discovered souterrain was not discovered at that time. Johnston added; “ In view of the position taken by An Bord Pleánala Duncan Smith TD and I have written to the Minister for Heritage outlining the significance of this find and appealed to him to ensure the protection and preservation of this site including placing a temporary preservation order on the souterrain and extended site. Johnston concluded;” it has been brought to my attention by an independent archaeologist in recent days that the writing on the ceiling of the souterrain maybe Runes from the Norse Futhark Alphabet rather than the Ogham script. He also stated “that stones with runic script on them are even rarer than Ogham stone”. In view of the implications of the find and this latest information it is vital that a temporary preservation order be placed on the souterrain and a thorough examination of the extended site be carried out. This is the least we can expect as we commence National Heritage Week.“