17 October, 2023

Open Day at N83 Claregalway Excavation

We were delighted to engage with members of the public on our recent Open Day on Friday 6th October at our ongoing excavation site in Claregalway, Co. Galway. Excavations are being carried out in advance of the N83 Claregalway Traffic Calming Scheme (attenuation pond) and are fully funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Galway County Council. The day was organised by our Project Manager Tim Coughlan and Site Director Muireann Ní Cheallacháin, in collaboration with TII Project Archaeologist, Jerry O’Sullivan, and formed part of the Architecture at the Edge Festival. We were very lucky to have the use of a room in Claregalway Castle as a meeting point and a space to share the results of our excavation findings to date. Our thanks to Dr Eamon O’Donoghue for allowing us access to these facilities.

Four guided tours were undertaken on the day, facilitating 120 members of the public. These commenced in the castle with a talk from Jerry on the local history and the project background. This was followed by a brief introduction to what has been found so far on site, and an opportunity for everyone to view an array of artefacts retrieved during our excavations, including some beautiful pottery and metal objects. There was an opportunity for the visitors to talk to our team of archaeologists about their work and the artefacts on display. The tour then continued on to the excavation site where the archaeological features discovered during our investigation were discussed by Muireann, Tim and Site Supervisor Andrew Fairbrother. The tour groups learned how archaeologists use the latest methods to record the archaeological remains on site, and what we can learn through post-excavation analyses of soil, animal bone and artefacts.

As archaeologists we love to discuss our work, and as such we want to thank everyone who came, listened and shared their thoughts on the heritage of Claregalway. It was lovely to see so many locals of all ages asking well considered questions about their possible ancestors living in 13th-century Claregalway. We hope that our visitors enjoyed the experience as much as we did.


Jerry O’Sullivan, TII Project Arhaeologist, presenting the background to the project and local history
Site Director Muireann Ní Cheallacháin discussing some of the artefacts retrieved during the current excavation
Site Supervisor Andrew Fairbrother giving a site tour during the Open Day


Thanks to all the team for such a successful event, including Site Supervisors Andrew Fairbrother and Tom Meharg, and Site Assistants Kat Thompson, Mae Boriello, Liam Conaghan, Cian O’Daly, Dean Rossa, Cameron Feiler, Marcus Byrne, and Ronan Harvey.

IAC Excavation Team on the N83 Claregalway Project