Construction workers building Ireland’s largest energy project have discovered ancient skeletal remains on farmland in Rush, north county Dublin.
The discovery was made as EirGrid laid piping for a high voltage direct current underground power line.
Skulls and bones were found near Rogerstown estuary. Local historians believe the remains date back to the 9th century. The former port of Lusk, close by, was used by the Vikings.
The National Monuments Service has been informed about the find by the on-site archaeologist and a full survey will begin next week. Until a more in-depth examination they will not know how many bodies are buried there.
Examinations in the surround areas continues. The spokeswoman for Eirgrid said “A previously unrecorded burial ground has been located on private land in Rush earlier this week…It wasn’t marked up on any ordnance survey maps."
There was no evidence that the land had been disturbed before the workers dug the 1.5 meter-deep trench on the farmland.
A local historian Kevin Thorpe said “It sounds like a Viking settlement where people were buried…But it all depends on whether the bodies were criss crossed or buried in straight lines, if there was any clothing on them, the composition and if they were men or women or young and old."
Thorpe, a member of the Loughshinny and Rush Historical Society, said this area was the final resting place of hundreds of people when a ship called the Tayleur was shipwreck just off a nearby island, Lambay, in 1854. The locations of their remains also is a mystery.
He added "Altogether more than 300 people went down with that ship, mostly women and children."
EirGrid confirmed, with the Press Association, that this land had been condoned off and protect from the heavy rain.