The campaign to preserve the site of Viking settlement at Wood Quay, Dublin began in 1976, headed by Professor F.X. Martin, Chairman of the Friends of Medieval Dublin. In 1978 the High Court declared the area a National Monument, but Dublin Corporation who owned the land, used a loophole in the law to allow them to build new civic offices on the site.
Professor F.X. Martin along with others such as Mary Robinson continued the fight to 'Save Wood Quay' and to preserve the substantial archaeological remains on the site. The struggle involved years of protests, sit-ins and litigation. Protesters sought to have the Wood Quay Viking settlement preserved and for Dublin Corporation to build the new civic offices in an alternative location. As the National Museum carried out excavations on the site, construction work took place. In the end Dublin Corporation won the battle and in 1981 work began on the civic offices and archaeological excavations ended.
The 'Save Wood Quay' campaign was one of the most intense mobilisations of public opposition on a subject of cultural heritage in the history of the state. Presented here is some of the television and radio coverage of the key events that took place at Wood Quay, including the initial plans for the site, the protests and legal battles, the legacy of the campaign and the archaeological finds.
Archaeological excavations and discoveries allow us to build a picture of past lives and as the excavations were carried out it became more and more apparent of the historical significance of the Wood Quay site as physical evidence of Viking life in Dublin.
The accompanying photograph was taken during the filming of the RTÉ Television documentary 'The Search for Viking Dublin', which was shown as part of the station's series 'Anthology' on 10 November 1969. © RTÉ Archives 2052/002
A selection of models of the proposed new Corporation office block planned for Wood Quay are on show at City Hall in Dublin.
In 1968 Dublin Corporation announced plans to build civic offices on a four acre site on Wood Quay.
A glimpse into the "ancient heart of Dublin" and future plans for the site.
James Tully, Minister for Local Government talks about the reasons why work on the new Dublin Corporation offices has been halted.
A group of leading international archaeologists visit the Wood Quay site in Dublin.
With time running out for Viking remains to be preserved at Wood Quay, Gerard Nolan introduces this report for the programme 'This Week' which examines the issue.
A comparison between city offices in Dublin and York, and a public discussion on Wood Quay at the Mansion House.
Protest march against the building of civic offices on the site of a Viking settlement at Wood Quay.
After years of waiting for new offices, Dublin Corporation workers want work to start immediately on building civic offices at the Wood Quay site.
As the National Monuments Council advises the Government to save Wood Quay, Archaeologist Dr. Michael Herraty from University College Dublin talks about the importance of the Wood Quay site and how a compromise is required with regard to plans for the site.
Thousands sign petition to preserve the Viking site at Wood Quay in Dublin.
Dublin Corporation says that a retaining wall must be built on the site at Wood Quay to maintain safety on the site.
Dublin Corporation claims it has no option but to sue Professor F.X. Martin for costs caused by delays to construction on the site at Wood Quay resulting from the protests.
Professor F.X. Martin on the Supreme Court decision, and the need for political action on behalf of the people.
Fine Gael leader Dr. Garret FitzGerald hits out at Pearse Wyse over misleading the Seanad on Wood Quay.
Professor F.X. Martin talks about how he wants the campaign to save Wood Quay to continue despite the Supreme Court decision. Martin comments on the decisions made by Dublin Corporation and that they are possibly not the best equipped to make decisions of cultural importance.
Filmed from the clock tower of Christ Church Cathedral, Féach captures the bulldozing of the Wood Quay site.
Michael O'Kelly Professor of Archaeology at University College Cork gave evidence on behalf of Dublin Corporation and claimed that the site was not worth preserving controversially claiming it was 'just a hole in the ground'.
Protesters march against the building of civic offices at the Viking site on Wood Quay.
Alternative options suggested to the planned civic offices at Wood Quay.
The Supreme Court found against Professor F. X,. Martin in his attempt to prevent the Dublin Corporation from building civic offices on the Wood Quay site in Dublin.
Protesters occupy the Viking site at Wood Quay and prepare for a long stay in what became known as 'Operation Sitric'.
Confrontation between construction workers and the Friends of Medieval Dublin protesters during the sit-in at Wood Quay.
A temporary injunction has been granted to the Wood Quay construction company against the Friends of Medieval Dublin.
Professor F.X. Martin decides to observe the High Court injunction and to stay off the Wood Quay site.
As the injunction is lifted, Friends of Medieval Dublin remain optimistic that the Wood Quay site will be saved.
'The Dubliners' and Dubliners turn out at Christ Church for a concert in support of saving Wood Quay.
The National Museum of Ireland has called for an extension to their excavation work at Wood Quay.
As the first tower of the civic offices is now emerging from the ground, work on the second ten storey tower will soon begin.
Dublin Corporation spokesman Pat Russell defends the bulldozers as part of the old city wall is knocked down.
John O'Donoghue interviews Professor Herbert Jankuhn about his views on the site at Wood Quay where volunteer diggers have just a fortnight left to work on the archaeological dig.
Professor F.X. Martin now faces a potential bill of in excess of a quarter of a million pounds. The price of protest falls on him as a citizen despite the 200,000 signatures, 20,000 protesters and international condemnation of the destruction of the Viking settlement at Wood Quay.
Dublin Coporation has made a claim for damages against Professor F.X. Martin. The damages arose out of costs incurred by Dublin Corporation due to work being held up on the site at Wood Quay due to protests.
Archaeological finds from Wood Quay found on a dumping ground in Ringsend, Dublin are now on display at the National Museum.
While many valuable discoveries have been made on the Viking site at Wood Quay, is it enough to simply put these finds on display in a museum? This and other questions are examined by Brian Farrell.
A Viking sword from the Wood Quay site is found in a Dublin Corporation dumping ground.
Professor F.X. Martin catches Mike Murphy on candid camera during an interview on 'The Mike Murphy Show' about Christ Church and the Wood Quay area of Dublin.
An illustrated history of Wood Quay over a one thousand year period is the subject of a new book by Jonathan Barden and Stephen Conlin.
The first exhibition of the treasures excavated from the controversial Viking site at Wood Quay have gone on display.
The controversial civic offices located at Wood Quay are finally open after years of disputes and protests. 'Evening Extra' visits the Dublin Corporation staff in their new offices.
Is there such a thing as good modern architecture? Just one of the questions asked by 'Scratch Saturday' in this feature on architecture and design.
Over a decade after the Wood Quay controversy, the site and the civic offices that now stand there, are back on the public agenda. Dublin City Council is holding an architectural competition to complete the construction work at Wood Quay.
A look back at the excavation works at Wood Quay and what the archaeologists discovered on the site.
The legacy of the leader of the 'Save Wood Quay' campaign and chairman of Friends of Medieval Dublin; priest and professor, F.X. Martin.
20 years after the excavations stopped at Wood Quay, Marian Finucane talks to the architect Sam Stephson and Director of the National Museum Pat Wallace, about Wood Quay. They discuss the initial plans for the site, the excavations, the protests, and construction, and the competition for the second phase of the build.
The remaining 20 feet of Dublin's medieval wall is to go on display to the public.
A new exhibition opens in Dublin and puts the old city Viking wall on display for public viewing for the first time.