Rare 12th century kite brooch found in Connemara

US student makes discovery while on archaeology field trip to Omey Island

A student from the United States has found a rare kite brooch from the 12th century on Omey Island, Connemara.

The brooch, so named because it is shaped like a kite, was discovered by McKenna McFadden during a field trip with New York University led by Connemara-based archaeologist Michael Gibbons.

It was identified and confirmed as about nine centuries old by Galway city heritage officer Jim Higgins.

Kite brooches were used as pieces of jewellery to fasten a cloak or shawl.


Mr Gibbons said the find occurred when he was leading students on a walk on Omey, a tidal island off Claddaghduff. Ms McFadden located the brooch in the sand. He plans to give the brooch to the National Museum of Ireland.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times