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5,000-year-old Burren murder mystery being examined

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A 5,000-year-old murder mystery from the Burren in County Clare is the subject of an exhibition at Clare Museum in Ennis.

Next Tuesday, The ‘Death on the Burren’ exhibition will be launched at 7.30 pm by Dr. Ann Lynch, who led the excavation of Poulnabrone in 1986 making some intriguing finds, including the suspicious death of an individual who was buried there.

Running until the end of the 2019, the free exhibition provides an opportunity for families to get their detective caps on to help solve the ancient mystery by examining the evidence from scientific analysis of a hip-bone with an arrowhead embedded in it.

Situated on Karst limestone in the Burren, the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s more accessible megalithic structures attracting over tens of thousands of visitors each year.  It was used as a burial place for 600 years between 5,800 and 5,200 years ago.

According to museum Curator, John Rattigan, “This exhibition is just one of several initiatives that Clare Museum will be rolling out in the coming months as part of its Education and Engagement Programme. The programme is designed to promote the museum’s potential as an exceptional educational resource while also highlighting the rich culture and history of County Clare for tourists and locals alike.”

In the months ahead, Clare Museum will begin a series of public talks on a broad range of historical topics, will make available replica artefacts for parents with children to explore, activity sheets and some new projects to provide support for local primary schools.

The ‘Death on the Burren’ exhibition opening takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on 25th June. Entry to the launch event is free of charge, but places are limited and must be booked via email only ( The Poulnabrone items on display at Clare Museum as part of a long-term loan from the National Museum of Ireland.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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