The National Museum of Ireland has assembled the first permanent exhibition of Irish gold.

Over seven hundred items of gold representing a picture of affluent Ireland go on display at the National Museum on Kildare Street, Dublin.

Pat Wallace, Curator of the National Museum, says the artefacts are from 2000 BC and are pre-literate, pre-Christian society and mostly pre-Celtic.

If gold is an index of wealth then certainly the leaders of that society must have been very wealthy indeed.

Wallace also points out that most of this gold is native gold, coming from places like Wicklow and Tyrone.

Much of the gold on display was worn by both men and women as badges of office and ceremonial function. 

In light of this new exhibition, Pat Wallace also comments on the recent legislation regarding the use of metal detectors and how this will impact on the safety of our cultural heritage and says

Metal detecting is an evil and we have to admit that.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 August 1991.