The foundations of a Neolithic house have been discovered at Ballycastle in County Mayo.

Archaeologists excavating a megalithic tomb at Ballycastle have uncovered the remains of a Neolithic home.

The house stood here about five thousand years ago. That makes it one of the oldest if not the oldest in the country.

There are about fourteen hundred megalithic tombs in the country and some are more spectacular than others. This new discovery of a Neolithic house on the site puts this site firmly on the map.

Excavations were carried out under Professor Sean Ó Nuallain, the archaeologist attached to the Ordnance Survey office. His work over the last twenty years has involved a survey of the megalithic tombs of Ireland.  Professor Ó Nuallain explains the importance of this discovery as it is one of the few Neolithic houses found in the country.

While excavations are still in the early stages, there have already been pottery finds which can tell a lot about how the people lived at that time.

We build up a picture of how they lived in the past.

Professor Ó Nuallain believes that this discovery is of major importance in the field of archaeology.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 August 1970. The reporter is Barry Linnane.