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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Gardaí investigating after large hole dug in Longford heritage site

Granard Motte is one of Ireland’s premier surviving examples of a medieval motte and bailey structure.

granard Granard Motte Source: Longford Tourism

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING after an incidence of possible criminal damage at a well-known Co Longford heritage site.

Granard Motte, an example of a medieval motte and bailey structure, is situated in the town of the same name.

Sometime between 25 May and 1 June a large hole, about a metre in diameter was dug into the base of the mound.

The purpose of the hole is not yet clear.

“Gardaí in Granard are investigating an incident of criminal damage to a monument ‘Granard Motte’ which occurred at Church Quarter between 25 May and 1 June,” a Garda spokesperson said.

The incident was first reported to Gardaí on 1 June 2017. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

The monument at Granard is one of Ireland’s premier examples of a motte and bailey, a fortification built on a raised mound, or motte accompanied by an enclosed enclosure (the bailey).

Granard Motte is Ireland’s highest example of such a site, standing at 163 metres above sea level. It was first constructed in 1199 by the Normans. The fortified structure which once stood upon the mound no longer exists.

The site itself has been the subject of much local interest in recent years with efforts made to bring it back into public ownership.

A project to develop the site into a tourist attraction complete with restaurant and interpretative centre was recently approved by Longford County Council after several years of gridlock.

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