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Hobbyist drone pilot discovers historic ring fort in Ireland

Hobbyist drone pilot discovers historic ring fort in Ireland

A hobbyist drone pilot discovers a historic ring fort near Crag, Lahinch in Ireland during the COVID-19 lockdown. Matthew Kelly flew his drone for fun when he made the archaeological discovery of the fort.

It is not the first time that amateur archaeologist and hobbyist drone pilot Matthew make an important discovery. Two years earlier he uncovered a group of 5000-year-old forts in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Hobbyist drone pilot discovers historic ring fort in Ireland

Kelly’s latest discovery had not been previously recorded in the  National Monuments Service (NMS) database, but now it has officially been added.

“I found the fort while flying my drone around the small cliffs at Lahinch during lockdown,” Kelly said, according to The Journal. “I have been filming forts and stone circles for years so I knew what it was when I found it. I emailed the National Monuments Service who checked it out and added it to their database which means it is now recorded and protected.”

The ringfort that Kelly discovered is classed as a ‘cliff-edge fort’ in the townland of Crag. It is scheduled to be included in the next update of the Record of Monuments and Places.

Hobbyist drone pilot discovers historic ring fort in Ireland

Kelly asked artist Jim Fitzpatrick to help name the fort.

“The artist Jim Fitzpatrick inspired me to get into Irish mythology years ago so I asked him to name the fort,” he said. “He suggested Cliodhna of the Waves so we will call it Dun Cliodhna. Cliodhna is the goddess of love and beauty and is said to have three brightly coloured birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick.”

The ring fort is “situated on a steep cliff-edge c. 450m south of Lahinch beach backing onto a NE-SW cliff,” according to the confirmation from the NMS. It adds: “A sub-circular enclosure, reported to the National Monuments Service by Matthew Kelly.”

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Haye Kesteloo

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