Dolmen access to be included in Cherrywood public consultation

‘I had to climb over a tree and over a river’ councillor says of access to 5,500 year-old portal tomb

Public access to the Glendruid Dolmen, a 5,500 year-old portal tomb, in south Co Dublin is to be the included in a public consultation in coming weeks.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council officials said the consultation, on the Cherrywood Greenway, would include consultation on permanent public access to the Dolmen.

The commitment to include access to the dolmen as part of the greenway consultation came as councillors expressed concern that the dolmen is located on private land, in an area of intensive development, much of which is currently being offered for sale by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Councillor Barry Saul (FG) told the meeting access to the dolmen was extremely difficult. “I had to climb over a tree and over a river” he said. Councillor Saul added that the concern was that “the Nama land us up for tender”.


Councillor Hugh Lewis (Ind) said he was “aware of the continuous struggle to get access” and he expressed concern that a council report had been “ambiguous” in that access was described as “visual access”. Mr Lewis said he believed the Cherrywood SDZ plans had initially committed to an access route to the dolmen and he asked if the broader Cherrywood scheme was due to be reviewed. If so, he asked could access be ensured in such a review.

Councillor Frank McNamara said he supported permanent public access as many people did not know the dolmen was there.

A number of members paid tribute to the council’s heritage officer Deirdre Black for work done to protect the dolmen and Thérése Langan, the councillor’s director of community and cultural development said the “ambition” was to create “formal, easy access” to the dolmen.

She said informal access was available - “it is not inaccessible” but “at the end of the day people want [FORMAL]access and that is what we are trying to do”.

The council agreed to hear another progress report at the June meeting.

The Glendruid dolmen is also known as the Brennanstown Dolmen, and is comparable to the larger and more famous Poulnabrone dolmen in Co Clare.

The capstone of the dolmen alone weighs an estimated 50 tonnes. It rests on two, west-facing entrance/portal stones and three side stones. The ensemble creates a 3m by 1.5m inner chamber with a doorstone and a backstone.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist