Army under fire over ‘attack’ on Cromwell FortOctober 19, 2012 - 7:15am
By DARA BRADLEY
An investigation is underway into the extent of the destruction caused to one of the most important archaeological and historical sites on the outskirts of Galway City, the Galway City Tribune has learned.
The National Monuments Service (NMS) has confirmed that it is investigating potential damage caused to Cromwell’s Fort, which is located to the south-east of Renmore Barracks.
The NMS ordered workers, who were erecting fencing near the 17th Century fort, to cease work on the project this week after complaints that the historically-significant site was damaged.
The construction work at the site was being carried out on behalf of the Army and the Department of Defence. It is understood damage was inadvertently caused to the fort during the works, which involved erecting a fence to the rear of land owned by the Defence Forces.
The site was inspected by civil servants from NMS in Galway and all building work ceased mid-week as the extent of the damage is assessed. The Army is co-operating with NPWS in relation to the probe. Cromwell’s Fort is a recorded monument protected under the National Monuments Acts.
The fort was built around 1641 as fortification against attack from Oliver Cromwell and the Williamites. It was an earthen fort with two diamond shaped bastions at each corner. It measured about 10 metres squared and was build on raised earth – it contained cannons and was surrounded by a three metre ditch and walls that were 1.2 metres tall.
According to historians, Galway, and Cromwell’s Fort, was one of the last strongholds in Ireland to succumb to Cromwell’s forces and held out until 1652.
Although to look at it, you wouldn’t think it was a fort – it’s just a mound of earth – it is a highly significant site in a historical and archaeological sense, according to local historian Peadar O’Dowd.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.