Government urged to release report on findings at former Taoiseach’s home

by Padraig Conlon

The Government must release a report on archaeological findings on a local site that was former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave’s home.

This is according to local TD John Lahart who is urging the Government to release the report on whether the site at Scholarstown Road has historic significance before the developer applies for full planning permission to build.

The site, which is 5.2 hectares in size, was bought for development by Ardstone Homes after Mr Cosgrave’s death in 2017.

There is potential to build 600 houses on the site which was revealed to contain a settlement and burial site from the Bronze Age.

Fianna Fail councillor Deirdre O’Donovan recently held a public meeting ahead of the deadline for planning permission calling on local residents in Templeogue and Knocklyon to make a submission on the application.

Deputy Lahart called on the Minister for Arts and Heritage Josepha Madigan to detail the significance of the archaeological discoveries made.

He also raised the matter in Dail Eireann last week in an attempt to get answers from the Minister.

“The former Liam Cosgrave lands on Scholarstown Road have previously been known to be acres of prime residential zoned land on the foot of the Dublin Mountains,” Deputy Lahart said.

“Following the sale of the site historical and medieval remains and structures were discovered.

“The developer has since, in a pre-planning phase with South Dublin County Council, sought the provision of in excess of 600 units of housing on the site.

“The archaeological examination which was carried out on the site last year determined that there is a Ringfort containing skeletal remains dated between 617 and 688 AD.

“The site itself is believed to be an enclosed settlement and cemetery with a significant number of burials.”

Deputy Lahart said that Ardstone Homes own Archaeologist, Archer Heritage Planning, has set out that this site is of medium high significance in the archaeological report it submitted to South Dublin County Council.

“The use of this land is a matter of concern locally particularly knowing what has been discovered and the value and heritage it potentially has for the area,” Deputy Lahart continued.

“It has proven immensely difficult to obtain any details from the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Josepha Madigan regarding the significance or otherwise of this site.

“In two brief Parliamentary responses, the Minister has said a report will be compiled, and in her response to me in the Dáil she stated that the finds were not unique, while the developer’s own report submitted to the council state that they are regarded as medium high significance.

“I am merely trying to determine what the Government’s view is on the development of a site of such archaeological significance to avoid any room for error.

“Some determination must be reached soon as to the significance of these finds because the developer is clearly seeking to apply for planning permission for a colossal development of housing.

“Local residents need to know before there is any decision by the council to consider a planning application.”

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