Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has been told that the Office of Public Works will consider the possibility of carrying out restorative work at the historic Mooghaun hillfort at Newmarket on Fergus when resources allow.


In a Dáil question to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Deputy Carey asked for invasive scrub be removed from the area surrounding the Bronze Age monument and that an information table which acts as a self-guided trail up to the hillfort be reinstated.

Outlining the importance of the hillfort, he said it dated from the Late Bronze Age around 950 BC. The site is enclosed by woodland near Newmarket-on-Fergus. There is a self guided trail up to the Hillfort which is identified as the largest in Ireland.

“The largest and most spectacular hoard of prehistoric gold in Western Europe was found at Mooghaun Lough a short distance north of the hillfort. This demonstrates the enormous power and authority of the hillforts occupants. The Mooghaun gold hoard is now on display in the National Museum of Ireland Dublin.

“Apart from its status as a national heritage site, it is also a significant visitor attraction that should be properly maintained and marketed as such,” Deputy Carey told the Minister

In a written response, Minister Donohoe said that Coillte owned the woodland surrounding the hillfort and if the scrub is on State property, it would be a matter for Coillte to address.

“As regards the descriptive table referred to by the Deputy, there are no plans currently to reinstate it and no provision has been made in the OPW’s 2019 Business Plan for such works to be done.

“While I cannot therefore give a firm commitment in this regard, the OPW will examine this matter as resources allow,” Minister Donohue concluded.