An American Pharmaceutical company has come under fire from Irish historians over its plans to demolish a 5,000 year old ring fort.
The tri-vallate ring fort in Waterford is on a site that has been purchased by US firm West Pharmaceutical Services (WPS).
Local historians say that the fort has great archaeological importance.
Chewie Cusack told TheJournal.ie: “It’s an incredible site. Only about 3% of Ireland’s ring forts are tri-vallate, which makes this place quite unique. It should be protected or at least left as a green area during construction.”
WPS began building a manufacturing plant on the Knockhouse site earlier this week. The second phase of development will see the ring fort totally cleared, with the rocks being levelled to make way for the new plant.
The company have said they will fund archaeologists to record and preserve any valuable artefacts found on the site.
This isn’t enough for some historians who have set up a Facebook page to raise awareness of the ancient fort.
The page description says the site has yielded artefacts from a vast number of eras and that: “this ringfort is the jewel in our history and is more than likely a chieftain of this area lived there, not bad for one field.”
The development has the support of the National Monument Service who have issued WPS with a licence to demolish the fort.
Lar Power, the council’s director of economic development and planning said: “This site has been zoned for strategic industrial development for many years in the full knowledge of the presence of the ring fort. The work being completed is to fully resolve the site and record the findings.”
Emily Denney of WPS said the company would record and preserve and artefacts found on the site
She said: “A process of post-excavation analysis will be carried out before a final report on the excavation will be shared with the public. We hope this information will add to the public’s knowledge of and appreciation for Waterford’s rich archaeological heritage.”
For more information checkout the Knockhouse Ring Fort Facebook page