The Wood Quay excavations, protests and legal action grabbed the attention of the nation in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Archaeologists, historians, politicians, academics, writers, activists and young and old from all walks of life, joined forces in a decade long struggle against the destruction of the Viking site and in favour of the construction of civic offices in an alternative location.
Protests culminated on the streets of Dublin with over 20,000 people coming out to voice their opposition to the destruction of the site led by the Friends of Medieval Dublin. In June 1979 the Friends of Medieval Dublin led by Professor F.X. Martin staged a three-week long sit-in on the site in what became known as 'Operation Sitric'.
Protesters ultimately lost the battle for preservation as Dublin Corporation found a loophole in the law which permitted them to proceed with the construction of civic offices on the site.
The accompanying photograph shows the archaeological dig taking place around Winetavern Street, Christ Church, Dublin on 22 January 1974. © RTÉ Archives 2459/074
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.