- Cloonahinch, Co. Galway, Galway

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Galway Site name: Cloonahinch, Co. Galway

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR GA086-255 Licence number:

Author:

Site type: GRAVES OF INDETERMINATE DATE

ITM: E 568957m, N 732028m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.337574, -8.466103

In June 1972 a pair of human feet were discovered in a bog at Cloonahinch, near Woodlawn, Co. Galway.102 The find, thought to represent a single foot, was reported to the Gardaí at Loughrea, who brought the remains to Professor John Kennedy at Galway Regional Hospital. The remains were then handed over to Professor Étienne Rynne, who informed the NMI. The site was visited by Rynne, who reported that the find-spot had been completely destroyed by the finders in their attempt to locate the body. The remains were apparently discovered close to the base of a bog hole that was c. 1.4m deep by c. 0.9m in diameter. The pit was filled with a matted yellow sedge-like material, above which was a c. 0.3m-thick layer of dark peat. When the remains were examined by Laureen Buckley, it was found that the bones actually represented two feet, and not one as originally thought. According to Buckley’s report, there is no evidence for pathology on the bones, so it is possible that the feet were the only surviving part of a more ancient bog body which had been exposed and dispersed over years through turf-cutting (Ó Floinn 1995, 227).

Human remains
LAUREEN BUCKLEY
There were actually remains from two feet present. The second, third, fourth and fifth metatarsals were present from the left foot. The right foot consisted of all the tarsals, held together by ligaments, and the second, third, fourth and fifth metatarsals. Also present were three proximal phalanges that could have come from either foot. The bones were adult but were very small, so they could have come from a female.

Summary and conclusions: these remains represent the left and right foot of one adult individual, possibly a female. The tarsals of the right foot were still held together by ligaments. There was no pathology present on the bones and there was no indication of any cuts on the bones, so it is unlikely that the foot was cut off. It is possible that the remains are ancient and that they were exposed years prior to this find and thrown into the bog hole.

102. Parish of Killaan, barony of Kilconnell. SMR GA086-255——. IGR 169000 232000 (Ó Floinn 1995, 227).