A major archaeological find from the Viking period is discovered in Wexford town.
As workmen carried out exploratory work on a foundation for a new building in Wexford they uncovered artefacts which they thought would interest archaeologists. The discoveries unearthed included leather work, pottery, bones and shells from the medieval period.
The find was made slap bang in the middle of the town on its main shopping street.
It is believed that there are Viking remains a few feet further down. Local amateur archaeologists were first called in to confirm the value of the finds, followed by archaeologists from the Board of Works.
Mayor of Wexford, Alderman Dominic Kieran, tells RTÉ News about the significance of what was found on the site and is determined to make sure that the site does not become another Wood Quay.
We're trying to establish direct links with the Viking times.
County Manager Noel Dillon says that
We can't miss an opportunity of learning about our past.
Dr Brendan Swan explains that the find has been perfectly preserved in thick, black mud, and is hopeful of further finds going back to the Viking era.
The really remarkable thing about the site is the preservation of the posts and the timber.
While Wexford is known as a Viking town, Dr Swan points out that to date the evidence of this is purely literary, and this would be the proof of Wexford's Viking past. As such, Dr Swan wants to see the site professionally excavated.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 February 1988. The reporter is Michael Ryan.