Family walk reveals ancient rock art

A weekend stroll in the Donegal countryside has unearthed 5,000-year-old rock art.

Adam Rory Porter, his wife Angela and their children, along with father-in-law Liam MacLochlainn, were out walking last weekend . They had heard about the location of large stones containing rock art but most had been heavily overgrown by gorse and were completely inaccessible.

However, to their delight the gorse had been cleared by a local farmer leaving the stones exposed.

The group scraped away mud and washed stones down for several hours at the location in the field at Magheranaul on the Isle of Doagh.

And they were left open-mouthed as they uncovered a treasure throve of rock arts of various signs, swirls and symbols.

Adam Porter says they were aware the land supposedly contained such rock art after an initial discovery back in the early 1980s by Dutch archeologist, Maarten Van Hoek.

“The moment we saw the gorse had been pulled away, we knew we had a chance of finding something.

“But we never thought we would find so many. It was literally like finding a lost treasure. Every time we washed an area we found another piece of art. It really was amazing,” he said.

Adam said they had a bottle of water with them, and thanks to a local stream they were able to refill the bottle and constantly wash the mud away from the stones.

“We must have filled that bottle one hundred times, but it was worth it.

“Our daughter Faolain, 6, was with us and she was amazed. It’s something she will hopefully remember for the rest of her life,” said Adam.

However, people have been warned not to interfere with sites of possible archeological interest.

A spokesman for the Donegal County Museum said sites must be treated with care. They also stressed that permission must be sought if work is to be carried out on such lands.

A spokesman for the National Monuments Work warned that no permission was sought to carry out works on the lands at Magheranaul.

The spokesman said that permission is needed “to allow the National Monuments Service time consider the proposed works and how best to proceed to further the protection of the monument. However, we have no record of any notification of Intention to carry out work on this site at Maghernaul. All work should cease pending investigation by the National Monuments Service”.


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