An interpretive centre is planned for north Mayo where the world's oldest stone age settlement has been discovered.

Evidence of how our stone age ancestors lived and worked is being uncovered on a daily basis underneath blanket bog near Ballycastle, where a system of small walled fields is emerging.  

Archaeologist Dr Seamus Caulfield from the Céide Fields Project who is in the process of excavating part of the site explains the time scale involved with a sod of turf he has just cut, 

The bottom...grew at about the time St Patrick was in Ireland. The top...about the time that Christopher Colombus was sailing for America.

This is the oldest intact field system in the world, predating the Pyramids of Egypt, and the Office of Public Works (OPW) announced today that it will have its own interpretive and visitor centre.

OPW Commissioner Brendan Scully explains that it will not just inform visitors about the history of the site, but  

It will act as a catalyst for tourism in the area.

The Céide Fields Committee says believes the project will attract 100,000 visitors a year within five years.  In addition to government and European Community funding, there has been strong local support for the centre, with a recent donation by the North Connacht Farmers' Co-op of £50,000. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 February 1991. The reporter is Jim Fahy.