An investigation is under way into a complaint about criminal damage in Conamara (Connemara) National Park.

During fieldwork in the park earlier this week, an archaeologist and heritage tourism operator noted damage to a protected monument and encroachment within a protected zone of two other monuments.

Michael Gibbons reported the damage to Clifden gardaí. He also detailed the extent of the damage in written correspondence to the Department of Heritage, Housing and Local Government.

In the process of the removal of a derelict deer fence in the park earlier this week, the movement of heavy vehicles created a number of trackways, which have cut through the middle of a rich archaeological landscape within a designated Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Mr Gibbons said.

In his correspondence to the department, Mr Gibbons has called on the minister to initiate an investigation to establish how much damage has been done and arrange mitigation measures.

Gardaí confirmed that they visited the scene and their investigation is ongoing.

A statement this evening from the Department of Housing and Heritage said works were carried out to replace an existing deer fence in Conamara National Park.

It said the works are "routine maintenance and no damage occurred as a result of the works".

There was no damage to the graveyard or removal of headstones and there was no requirement for an EIS or AA to replace the fence, according to the statement.