Archaeological testing and excavation were undertaken by IAC along the 44km route corridor for this scheme. Excavation of 158,000sqm of test trenches along the route corridor identified 30 archaeological sites. These sites were subsequently excavated over a 24 week period using a team of 60 archaeologists.
The majority of the archaeological sites represented the remains of burnt mounds (fulachta fiadh) and/or shallow burnt spreads dating to throughout the Bronze Age period. The remaining sites varied in date from a late Bronze Age enclosure site, Iron Age charcoal kiln and metallurgy furnace to an early medieval kiln. Highlights included a multi-phase settlement site at Rathwilladoon 2 & 3 which produced evidence for Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age activity. In addition to this two Iron Age ringditch sites were discovered at Ballyboy 1 and Ballyboy 2 which contained human cremations, fine ornamental glass beads and a bone gaming piece.
A museum exhibition of the findings of this scheme was staged at the Ennis Museum, Co. Clare. A monograph describing the excavations on the scheme was also published.