'Spectacular finds' may see road delayed to August and extra £2m cost

Published: 29 Nov 2012 13:000 comments

The archaeological dig on the route of the new Cherrymount Link Road in Enniskillen could delay the opening until next August at an additional cost of over £2 million, it has been claimed.

Share this image

The archaeological dig on the route of the new Cherrymount Link Road in Enniskillen could delay the opening until next August at an additional cost of over £2 million, it has been claimed.

Just a week ago the Department of Regional Development announced that the by-pass linking the Cherrymount Roundabout with a new roundabout on the Tempo Road was due to open next March.

However, last Friday a number of public representatives visited the excavation of the Drumclay Crannog, the site of an ancient dwelling on the section of the by-pass between Cherrymount and the Coa Road.

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott was among those who met the team of over 30 archaeologists involved in the dig.

"They hinted that for them to do a really good job and get all the material, they could really do with a delay until the end of June," says Mr. Elliott.

The time period for the excavation has already been extended on three occasions and under the present arrangement it is due to be completed at the end of December.

In a written question to his party colleague Danny Kennedy, the Minister for Regional Development, Mr. Elliott asked how much the delay due to the dig has cost so far.

In his reply Mr. Kennedy states: "My Department's Roads Service has advised that, to date, the estimated cost per week of the delay to the work on the Cherrymount Link Road arising from the archaeological excavation of the crannog, is £50,000. This estimate includes the cost of archaeological excavation work, costs incurred by the contractor and supervision costs incurred by Roads Service."

A Department spokesman said the dig is currently scheduled to last a total of 28 weeks, which at £50,000 a week would add £1.4 million to the cost.

The excavation is being undertaken on behalf of the Department of Environment.

Mr. Elliott is concerned that if Environment Minister Alex Attwood grants the archaeologists until June to complete their work it will add over £2 million to the cost and the road won't actually open until next August.

Mr. Attwood is due to announce today (Thursday) "spectacular finds" at the crannog and there have been hints that it will "re-write the history books".

His spokesman said: "There have been a number of significant discoveries at the Drumclay Crannog excavation which are reshaping our understanding of medieval life at these kinds of sites."

Mr. Elliott acknowledges that the excavation is revealing "important stuff" and that the archaeologists are "extremely excited and believe this will make history".

However, he believes the archaeology has to be balanced against the additional cost and the delay in opening the road.

He thinks the Cherrymount Link should have been better planned from the outset and either a bridge built over the site or a different line taken for the road.

"If it was so important I think they should have had it better plotted and mapped," he says.

He believes it may be time for the archaeologists to take the finds they have made so far and call it a day.

"The rest can be left intact for people in 400 or 500 years time," he suggests.

"There comes a stage when you have to say: 'We do have to move on.' They could at any stage bury the remainder and leave it for another generation," says Mr. Elliott.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department

Churches come together to commemorate the sadness of Good Friday

The sadness and poignancy of Good Friday was commemorated by the congregations of The Graan and Rossorry Parish Church, who came together for “The Way of the Cross”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

Led (as in ‘Lad’)

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Villiers’ sums ‘don’t add up’

SINN Fein MLA Rosie McCorley used her Easter address in Fermanagh on Sunday to hit out at Secretary of State Theresa Villiers who last week said that any review into the past must have “proportionate focus on the wrongdoing of paramilitaries”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Editorial Department

Tamboran expect to drill a well in Ireland in June or July, report says

FRACKING company Tamboran’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Riddle has said that it expects to drill a well in Ireland in June or July.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Mass rule is ‘destroying the Orange Order’

A FERMANAGH Orangeman has spoken of how he has been on the verge of quitting the organisation over its “stupid rule” about members attending Catholic church services.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Criticism of those who wear ‘convict uniform to toast Queen’

THE deaths of prominent Republicans Jim Murphy and Patrick McManus have been remembered during commemorative events in Derrylin and Swanlinbar, organised by the 1916 Sean MacDiarmada society.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Kilkenny man is new manager at Lough Erne

Kilkenny-man Andrew Phelan has been appointed as General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Shareholder claims that Glanbia made £10,000 offer at meeting

FIVEMILETOWN Co-operative Society shareholders have been offered £10,000 each from Glanbia, a shareholder has claimed.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Lily Dane

Quinton family dealt another blow with death of Christopher

The Quinton family has been dealt another tragic blow with the news this week of the unexpected death of Christopher Quinton whose passing is being met with shock and sadness in the community.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Rodney Edwards

Call for ban on GAA jerseys at universities debated

SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan has discussed Jim Allister’s call for a ban on GAA jerseys from universities in Northern Ireland with the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

'Nanny, nanny... he's dead, dead'

The call no mother wants - read Ruby Brown's moving interview following the death of her son Richard in a motorbike accident

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Julie Kenwell

Collegiate given chance of 11th hour appeal to WELB

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School are to make an 11th hour appeal to members of the Western Education Library Board (WELB) not to sign off on a development proposal which would see it merge with Portora Royal next year.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 10:15

3,000-year-old bogwood sculptures installed at SWAH garden

BOGWOOD sculptures over 3,000 years old have been installed at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) garden.


24 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Way of the Cross: Congregations walk together on Good Friday.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:30 • Editorial Department

In today's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.