Archaeological excavations ahead of construction of a conference centre at Dublin Castle.

With Ireland assuming the presidency of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1990, a conference centre is to be built at Dublin Castle. Ahead of the construction extensive excavation works are going on in an effort to avoid the kind of public outcry that was associated with the site at Wood Quay.

An initial three month dig may be extended to twelve months.

Archaeologist Dr Ann Lynch, explains the plan to dig down as far as the medieval moat or ditch which surrounded the thirteenth century castle. There are also plans to excavate the area around the moat where the medieval houses stood.

Thirty years after the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1204, King John of England ordered that a castle be built to protect any treasure and to maintain a hold on the city.

For almost eight hundred years, the site was to represent the domination of the Irish people.

Throughout most of its history, Dublin Castle was remote and inaccessible to most of the Irish people. During the Famine, receptions, balls, and parties continued at the castle while a million people perished from starvation and another million emigrated.

Dublin Castle is now a tourist attraction and a meeting place for European statesmen.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 April 1985. The reporter is Colm Connolly.