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New cliff fort discovered in Lahinch

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A new cliff fort has been located in Lahinch and added to the database of the National Monuments Service.

Lahinch native, Matthew Kelly made the discovery in mid-April of the previously unknown cliff fort while using his drone. He subsequently reported the finding to the National Monuments Service (NMS) who have now recognised the fort and have recorded Kelly’s discovery including it in their Sites and Monuments Record.

As part of a soon to be completed update of the NMS’ Record of Monuments and Places, the fort will be then be protected under the National Monuments Act.

“Many Local Authority development plans place objectives within their plans to protect archaeological remains and the Local Authorities and Department of Agriculture take their lists of monuments from our iterative database,” a spokesperson for NMS told The Clare Echo.

Artist Jim Fitzpatrick inspired Matthew to learn more about Irish mythology, this is why he made contact with the man responsible for the portrait of Che Guevara when it came to choosing a name. Fitzpatrick suggested ‘Cliodhna of the Waves’ which then prompted the name ‘Dun Clíodhna’.

“Clíodhna is the goddess of love and beauty and is said to have three brightly coloured birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick,” Kelly explained.

Two years ago, the Lahinch drone pilot discovered 5000 year old forts in Dundalk. He admitted that the finding of an unknown piece of history in his own area is “very special” considering that the North-West Clare coastal spot is so well known.

He had previously been involved in a project with Clare County Council in 2017 where lifeguards at Spanish Point would avail of drones to detect when individuals where in difficulty at sea. Such technology from Dronesar is now being used by the Irish Coastguard.

Matthew told The Clare Echo, “I got into drones a few years ago when they first came out in 2014, my first footage was used on RTÉ’s programming Weather Beaten in 2014 about the big storm. I was lucky to work on a small project with Jim Fitzpatrick in 2016 and he encouraged me to visit the ancient sites of Ireland to see if anything new could be discovered with the drone”.

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, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. 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 - paraic@clareecho.ie

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