Skeleton unearthed on building site
ARCHAEOLOGISTS and the OPW were this week examining a human skeleton which was accidentally uncovered on a site zoned for housing in Wicklow.
The discovery was made by William Dunne, who while taking a short cut across the site in Ballyneerin noticed what appeared to be a bone, dug down with his hands to reveal a fully formed skeleton.
Gardai were immediately contacted and the site has since become a pilgrimage centre for local people anxious to have a look at the human remains.
However, the find also sparked off huge speculation in the town about the possible age of the skeleton in view of the fact that the particular area has a history of violence dating back to the 17th Century.
Local historian, John Finlay, is quite sure that the skeleton is 260 years old and goes back to a time when a graveyard was sited in that particular area of the town.
It is felt the discovery may have something to do with a massacre that took place in 1641 under English rule.
On that fateful day, the O’Byrne’s and the O’Toole’s attacked the Blackcastle and retreated into the Mountains.
Knowing the reputation of Sir Charles Coote, the people took sanctuary in a mud walled and thatched church in the hope that they wouldn’t be touched in such sacred surroundings.
Instead the church was set on fire and Coote and his army butchered everyone who tried to flee the blaze.