Farmer’s wall reveals ancient stones over four hundred million years old

The section of wall at Ballygaddy Road in Tuam where historical stones were discovered and removed and then replaced. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

Stones – estimated to be several hundred million years old – have been unearthed in a farmer’s wall in Tuam.

The discovery was made by sheer accident on a stone cut wall that was constructed along the main Ballygaddy Road out of the town around twelve years ago by a FAS Scheme.

They have now been moved to a secure location, where a scientific examination will be carried out to determine exactly how old they are…and where they came from.

According to Galway County Council, one particular stone was identified by persons who were doing contract work in the area – it stood out as being of significant historical importance.

Experts arrived at the scene where they discovered a particular stone, which had the letter ‘C’ engraved on it, and during its removal they discovered a second stone of equal historical importance.

It remains a mystery how these two stones, said to date back four hundred million years, found their way among stone that was quarried in Headford and used to construct this wall.

In a statement, Eimear Dolan County Secretary of Galway County Council said: “We have removed the stones from the location at Ballygaddy Road in Tuam and they are in a secure location in the Tuam Municipal District.

“The Council is working with staff internally with a view to seeking appropriate advice and archaeological analysis of them so that the information with regard to age, time and significance can be attained and profiled”.

The wall was built twelve years ago along land owned by local farmer Johnny Cloonan who said that he was informed of the discovery by Galway County Council and was also told that the stones would be removed from the wall.

“They told me that if I had any opposition to this that they would go through a legal process and that, in the meantime, there would be a Garda presence in place to protect these stones. So they must be very important,” he said.

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