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TOMB RAIDER Vandals who graffitied 'Ben was here' on Neolithic heritage site condemned by TDs

The Loughcrew cairns are passage tombs of great antiquity. They are part of our cultural inheritance and I am shocked that some of the ancient carved stones at this heritage site have been recklessly damaged by graffiti”

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Photo credit: Sharon Callinan & Mythical Ireland Facebook Page

Photo credit: Sharon Callinan & Mythical Ireland Facebook Page

Photo credit: Sharon Callinan & Mythical Ireland Facebook Page

Fine Gael and Green Party TDs have condemned acts of vandalism committed at a Neolithic tomb in Co. Meath.

The Loughcrew Cairns in Oldcastle, Co. Meath were vandalised recently with graffiti and messages scratched on the Neolithic burial site.

One example of the graffiti reads 'Ben was here'.

The monument is believed to be more than 5,000 years old.

The Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Service in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage are “deeply dismayed” by the acts of vandalism perpetrated at the historic site.

Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, as issued an appeal for anyone with information in relation to the incident to come forward.

He said: “The Loughcrew cairns are passage tombs of great antiquity. They are part of our cultural inheritance and I am shocked that some of the ancient carved stones at this heritage site have been recklessly damaged by graffiti.

“I appeal to anybody with information in relation to this incident to contact the local Gardaí to help find the culprits.”

Minister O’Donovan added: “Together with our colleagues in the National Monuments Service, we are preparing a campaign for the month of June to raise awareness of the significance and vulnerability of our beautiful monuments, which is vital to preserve them for future generations.

Minister for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, also condemned the acts of “mindless vandalism” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to court.

He said: “Our heritage sites provide important accessible spaces for the enjoyment and benefit of the public and it is shocking that anyone would think it appropriate to damage decorative stones left by our ancestors from thousands of years ago.

“I condemn such mindless vandalism at one of Ireland’s most significant archaeological monuments and we will do all we can with our colleagues in the OPW to ensure that the culprits are identified and brought before the Courts.”

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