Save Viking Waterford Action Group Formed
Dé Céadaoin Meán Fómhair 22, 2004 11:31 by Save Viking Waterford Action Group - SVWAG 087-6101340
To Protect Woodstown Viking Site
SAVE VIKING WATERFORD ACTION GROUP FORMED TO PROTECT WOODSTOWN VIKING SITE
A group calling for the full excavation of the Woodstown Viking Site has been formed following a public meeting in Waterford City last week. The ‘Save Viking Waterford Action Group’ was established following the formation of a committee at a meeting attended by over 100 people in the Granville Hotel on Thursday last.
The Woodstown Viking Site, discovered just outside the city during preparations for the Waterford bypass has been described as: “The most significant new find in Viking studies in perhaps a century” by Professor Donnchadh O’Corrain, medieval historian at UCC. Archaeologists, historians, medievalists and conservationists from around the world have welcomed the find and it has been predicted that the site could be worth millions to the local economy in increased tourism revenue.
The Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen, has said he would make a decision on whether or not he would order a full excavation of Woodstown in the next month. Fears are increasing that he will only order a ‘rescue’ excavation, a partial digging which will fail to unearth the full wonders of Woodstown.
The Save Viking Waterford Action Group have formulated five demands that we wish the Minister to meet in order to preserve the Woodstown site. These are:
1. The Minister for the Environment orders the full excavation of the entire Woodstown Viking Site and not a partial or rescue excavation.
2. The excavation to be done by hand without the use of heavy machinery.
3. The route of the Waterford bypass to be excavated first with the surrounding areas excavated after, facilitating the construction of the bypass without re-routing or significant delay.
4. The state to bear the cost of the excavation.
5. Once the site has been fully excavated and artefacts removed, an interpretative centre/education facility to be constructed near the site utilising the knowledge gained from the excavation and acting as a tourist attraction for the region.
The Action Group will be organising a series of events in the coming weeks, including a series of public meetings and lectures with nationally and internationally renowned archaeologists and historians, a region wide petition and a fact-sheet outlining the importance of the Woodstown site. The campaign also hopes to organise a field trip to the site for members of the public interested in seeing the site, which is believed to be the original Waterford.
The Action Group is also calling on community groups, trade unions, environmental and conservation groups and all members of the public from around the region to support the campaign to excavate Woodstown fully for the cultural and economic benefit it would bring to the south-east. The campaign has established a web-site: www.vikingwaterford.com where details of the campaign and upcoming events can be seen.
Dr. Cathy Swift – 059-6471040
Paula Geragthy – 087-6101340