Archaeologists have revealed a megalithic cairn at Creggandevesky in County Tyrone.

Farmer Hugh McCartan was planning to reclaim bogland on which there was a cairn. The Historic Monuments Department was alerted and a dig began on the site at Creggandevesky in County Tyrone.

Archaeologists investigated the site and it was agreed that the site should be excavated.

The excavations have been going on for four years with archaeologist Clare Foley in charge of the dig. She describes the site when they first arrived. The cairn was completely covered over with stone, bog and heather. At that stage, they had no idea of the length, shape or type of tomb they were digging. As the dig progresses, they unearthed a semi-circular court built with a mixture of large stones and dry stone wall panelling. There are three burial chambers. The archaeologists also discovered that two of the larger stones at the back of the cairn had been stolen shortly before the bog grew.

Somebody came along here and needed the stones for something else and carted them away.

The burial chambers contained the remains of 22 cremated individuals who had been buried on the site. Tools such as arrowheads and scrapers were also found on the site.

Clare Foley says that the evidence shows that these people were farmers who tilled the fields, kept animals and lived in wooden houses.

The cairn dates from the stone age, four or five thousand years ago.

A valuable record of the practices of ordinary people, the site is to be bought from the farmer and will be accessible to the public.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 13 August 1982.