Fourteen incidents of damage to archaeological sites

FOURTEEN incidents of damage to archaeological monuments in Donegal were recorded between 2020 and this year to date.
Figures provided to the Donegal News from the Office of Public Works (OPW) by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage reveal nine incidents of damage were reported for the calendar year of 2020, and five so far this year. Seventy six reports have been lodged nationally.
The incidents include vandalism, illicit metal detecting and also include storm damage and various levels of disturbance, including through construction or agricultural activity.
Due to a current technical database issue, the OPW said it cannot provide the locations of the particular sites affected.
A spokesperson for the OPW told the Donegal News damage to heritage sites is a rising trend.
“The National Monuments Service can receive between 100 to 120 reports of damage to monuments per year.
“To date in 2021, 76 reports have been reported, indicative of what is an increasing trend. Incidents of illegal metal detecting are regularly reported to National Monuments Service and National Museum of Ireland who work jointly in trying to combat this activity. In the first half of this year, seven such incidents have been reported to National Monuments Service, including damage at national monuments in State care and further reports have been lodged with National Museum of Ireland. All such incidents are followed up with An Garda Síochána.”
The Office of Public Works has responsibility for the day-to-day running of all National Monuments in State care. It has a conservation remit under the National Monuments Acts to conserve and maintain the National Monuments in State care. The ownership of any State owned monument is with The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

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