Mystery surrounds the discovery of an 'ancient statue or tomb' on Loughcrew Estate after access to the dig site was closed off with no clear answer if the six-foot figure is still there or has been removed.
The drama began yesterday afternoon when workers, digging on Loughcrew Estate and near to the ancient Loughcrew Megalithic Centre and St Oliver Plunkett's Church in Oldcastle unearthed what appeared to be an ancient sculpture or tomb.
The 'artefact' was uncovered during work on a new fairy stop on a new fairy trail being constructed in the Estate about 30 meters from the St. Oliver Plunketts Church.
Loughcrew workers Dan Duffy and David Grimes with RTE's Ciaran Mulloly
The 'ancient treasure' which was buried about two feet under the soil was revealed as the workmates delicately dug and pulled away the soil. The unwitting archaeologists can be heard on the video naming their discovery 'Birdman' as the statue appears to have protruding lump of metal where the nose would be.
"We were down at Loughcrew yesterday building a stop on the new fairy trail beside St. Oliver Plunkettts church hit a rock we couldn’t move, by the time we got it and started clearing back it didn’t stop. We assumed we had some big old rock, but what we ended up with was the most mental thing I’ve ever seen in my life," explained David Grimes who shot the video.
However, what happened next remains something of a mystery this evening after further enquiries by The Meath Chronicle..
Dermot Fenton of Loughcrew Estate told the workers to stop digging and to leave the area in order to call in experts. Claims that the Department of the Environment had been out to see the site had not been verified this evening, while a spokesperson of the Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht told the Meath Chronicle: "While this video is certainly intriguing and very entertaining, the archaeologists of The National Monuments Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have not been contacted and have no intention of investigating the ‘find.’
Mr Fenton told The Meath Chronicle he would not be returning to the 'dig site' until tomorrow (Thursday) but was anxious to get to the bottom of the mysterious 'discovery'.
When our photographer Seamus Farrelly visited the location earlier today, where an RTE news crew had also arrived, he said the site was closed off but that the dig site had been filled in but it wasn't clear if the 'ancient artefact' had been removed from the location.
More to follow...