Discovery of remains could impact apartment plans

The site of the proposes apartments development

Fingal Independent

With the find of skeletal remains on the riverbank of the Ward River, calls are now being made to ensure controlled archaeological digs take place in the area if planning permission is granted for a development of apartments.

The skeletal remains, which are believed to date back to the 15th century, are of an ancient burial in the north Dublin town, possibly the remains of a child.

Jacko Investments Ltd has applied for permission for the construction of 172 apartments on the site of The Lord Mayor's pub in Swords.

The planning application will involve the demolition of the landmark building, and apartments of four to seven-storey blocks being constructed.

The size of the development means it qualifies as a Strategic Housing Development, meaning the application will go directly to An Bord Pleanála which will then decide if the development goes ahead.

Local Fianna Fail councillor, Darragh Butler, said a number of people who submitted submissions to An Bord Pleanála with concerns over the proposed development - particularly over that the pub is not a protected structure, the seven storey height and traffic.

'Concerns were also raised in particular that the area is rich with archaeological finds and now we have last week's find too,' said Cllr Butler.

'The whole area of The Jacko or Ward River seems to be old burial grounds and there were more skeletal finds there a few years ago.

'And if An Bord Pleanála gives permission for the development to go ahead, it should ensure that controlled archaeological digs be carried out before the area is permanently covered over. It would be great to add more to the history of Swords.

'There is the potential for controlled digs all over Swords, given the town's rich history, but we do now want to ensure that An Bord Pleanála takes into account controlled digs in this area.'

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