Woodstown Viking Site needs to be excavated now.
The ‘Save Viking Waterford Action Group’, have called on new Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, to make a commitment to the full excavation of the entire Woodstown Viking Site one of his first announcements in his new role.
The National Monuments Act 2004, drafted by the previous Minister, Martin Cullen, invests the Minister for the Environment with arbitrary authority over Ireland’s heritage. The new act abolishes the democratic checks and balances which previously existed, meaning that Dick Roche now has sole authority over the future of the Woodstown Viking Site and other sites of crucial archaeological importance around the country.
Chair of the SVWAG, Dr. Catherine Swift in reaction to Mr. Roche’s appointment: “Mr. Roche can make an auspicious start to his new job if he orders the full excavation of the Woodstown site, a site which potentially is one the most important archaeological finds in Europe. The previous Minister had prevaricated and delayed this decision for months, so we are calling on Dick Roche to grasp the nettle immediately”.
Dr Swift continued: “The National Museum, the Heritage Council, the NRA and academics and scholars from across Ireland and Europe have called for the full excavation of Woodstown. We do not understand why the delay is necessary. The sooner the site is excavated, the sooner the bypass can be built. The hesitation denotes a propensity to put short-term economic interests ahead of the long-term benefits which would accrue from the excavation. It appears that the use of Public Private Partnership in the construction of the road may be a factor. The new Minister must put our heritage ahead of the profits for a private company.
Dr. Catherine Swift 086-0679708