The Potential for Conflict Archaeology in the Republic of Ireland

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Ireland has been the scene of countless engagements and battles. Early clashes saw the Irish fight not only each other, but also foreign invaders such as the Vikings and Anglo-Normans. The Early Modern period saw conflict reach a new level of intensity, with much of the Country being devastated between 1550 and 1700. Later, rebellions such as 1798 and 1916 punctuate the historical record, ending with the War of Independence and Civil War between 1919–1923. Battles are only part of the story, however. The Republic is also rich in military buildings of varying dates, and has its share of sites such as World War One training areas and World War Two coastal defences, encompassing the full spectrum of conflict archaeology. All these sites have received little archaeological attention in the Republic of Ireland. A pilot study of the Boyne battle field remains the only significant work carried out. Despite this, a significant number of military objects have been recovered throughout the Country, indicating the potential richness of this archaeological resource. This paper will examine a number of locations where further work could be considered, including: Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow (1580), Dún An Oir, Co. Kerry (1580), Kinsale, Co. Cork (1601), Dungan's Hill, Co. Meath (1647), Ballymore, Co. Westmeath (1691) and St. Stephen's Green, Co. Dublin (1916).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Conflict Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2006


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