2003:1986 - Mullingar, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Mullingar

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 19:89 Licence number: 03E0974

Author: Dominic Delany, Unit 3, Howley Court, Oranmore, Co. Galway.

Site type: Burials

ITM: E 643886m, N 753090m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.525933, -7.338138

Monitoring of excavations associated with the Mullingar Broadband Project was carried out from June to December 2003. The project comprised the laying of cables below the ground surface throughout the town of Mullingar and its surrounding infrastructure. The majority of the cable was laid below existing roads and footpaths. The ducts carrying the cables were placed at a standard depth of 0.6m, requiring trench excavation to an average depth of 0.9m. The impact assessment report had identified a number of potential impacts and recommended monitoring of all excavations within the zone of archaeological potential in Mullingar and in the vicinity of recorded monuments outside the zone. The area in the vicinity of the site of the medieval Dominican priory was highlighted as a particularly sensitive location as a result of the recent discovery of burials in this area (Excavations 2001, No. 1281, 01E0127).

Excavations within the zone of archaeological potential were subject to an intensive programme of monitoring, while excavations outside the zone were monitored on an intermittent basis. Disarticulated human remains were discovered during excavations on the small roundabout in Blackhall Place, which is located north-west of the Dominican priory site and in the immediate vicinity of the site where burials were discovered in recent years. Further investigation revealed the presence of disturbed burials on the line of the proposed broadband route. As rerouting the broadband was not a viable option, it was recommended that any archaeological material which will be impacted by cable laying should be excavated prior to development. Excavation was subsequently undertaken in October-November 2003. No other archaeological material was discovered during these excavations.