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Environmental Impact Assessment at Kilgreany Cave, Co. Waterford
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a proposed quarry development at Cappagh, near Dungarvan Co. Waterford required the assessment of the environs of Kilgreany cave. The limestone cave is situated at the base of a low rocky escarpment of limestone on the northern side of a broad marshy valley through which the river Brickey flows. It was excavated between 1928-34 by the Bristol University Speleological Society and the Royal Irish Academy and by Hallam Movius (1935) of the third Harvard Expedition to Ireland and both human and animal remains, including Pleistocene fauna such as Reindeer, Bear and Giant Irish Deer were recovered. More recent radiocarbon dating of the human remains placed them into the first half of the third millennium BC or the fourth millennium BC indicating Neolithic use of the cave (Molleson 1985-6).

A geophysical investigation of the exterior of the cave was carried out by Target Archaeological Geophysics (Licence 07R055) and identified a sub-surface oval stone-lined enclosure that measures 120m x 80m in diameter, that partly enclosed the south-east end of the cave escarpment and extended to the south-east. As no development took place in the vicinity of the cave there was no further investigation of the enclosure. While the enclosure may simply be the remains of a later field enclosure the possibility that it was associated with the prehistoric activity in the cave would merit future investigation.


Kilgreany cave under excavation in 1934


Kilgreany cave today


Kilgreany geophysics

References
Molleson, T.I. 1985-6. New radiocarbon dates for the occupation of Kilgreany Cave, Co. Waterford. Journal of Irish Archaeology III, 1-3.

Movius, H.L., Roche, G. , Stelfox, A.W. and Maby, J.C. 1935. Kilgreany Cave, County Waterford. The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Seventh Series, Vol. 5, No. 2, 254-296.

   
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