Preservation order placed on proposed Clare landfill site

 

The Minister for Arts and Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands has intervened in a landfill site row in her home constituency by placing preservation orders on three ring forts located within a proposed site at Kilmaley, Co Clare. Ms de Valera's action follows an archaeological field inspection carried out by Duchas the Heritage Service on the Cappalea-Gortaganniv site at Kilmaley - one of three sites shortlisted by Clare County Council for a proposed central landfill site.

In its report, the Heritage Service concluded that the site is an important archaeological landscape worthy of preservation and conservation. Following the Minister's action, three ring forts located within the site have been registered under Section 5 of the National Monuments Amendment Act, 1987.

According to Ms de Valera, any individual or organisation wishing to carry out works which will interfere with the sites in any way must give her Department two months' written notice of such intentions.

In an earlier letter on behalf of the Minister, Clare County Manager Mr Willie Moloney was told the placing of preservation orders could have the effect of sterilising a large area of the proposed landfill constraint area.

Despite the Minister's action, Clare County Council yesterday confirmed that it intends to carry out a site investigation on the proposed Kilmaley site as scheduled next Monday.

A spokesperson said yesterday: "As yet, we have received no official notification from Duchas regarding the preservation order. However, we will take on board Duchas's views when carrying out our site investigations.

"We have been aware of the ring forts at the site and needless to say, we will not be going anywhere near them. It must be stressed that the sites shortlisted for the proposed landfill are identified in an outline way."

The spokesperson denied that the credibility of a consultant's report shortlisting the three sites from 84 sites examined has been undermined by the Duchas report and the preservation orders being placed on monuments at the site.

"We are at an early stage in the process. Stage two involved site investigation and then we proceed to an Environmental Impact Statement."

The report on the site investigations is expected to be presented to the council at its September meeting.

A spokesperson for the Kilmaley Anti-Dump Action Group welcomed the Minister's action yesterday. "Generations of land-owners have protected the sites since the sixth century and we are delighted that they are to receive official recognition from Duchas. However, we are very angry that the council still intends to carry out their site investigations at the site."

Father Harry Bohan is to launch a booklet published by the action group tonight in Kilmaley outlining the threat the proposed landfill site poses to the parish.