Archaeological Investigations from the Whitegates to the Marina, Athlone

Wednesday 22 March at 8.15pm in Athlone’s Lough Ree Yacht Club

Talk by Noel Dunne

Speaker Noel Dunne is a native of Monksland, Athlone and has worked as a professional archaeologist for over 40 years. He has been a Project Archaeologist for over 20 years with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), formerly the National Roads Authority. One of the TII Schemes assigned to Noel was the Whitegates to Marina Building Athlone Cycleway. He has worked with public bodies and private consultancies including: the National Museum of Ireland, Office of Public Works, University College Dublin, Céide Fields Committee, various Local Authorities and Bord na Móna. His work on major projects includes: Céide Fields Interpretative Centre; Clonmacnoise, Derrynaflan and Wood Quay excavations; Donegal, Waterford and Roscommon County Archaeological Surveys; and the Urban Archaeological Survey.

The new bridge under construction with the central span, one of three,
being lifted into place, September 2022

Summary The stretch of cycleway between the Whitegates and Marina Building, Athlone, was officially opened to the public by Minister Hildegard Naughton on 11 October 2021. It represents the most recently completed portion of the overall Dublin to Galway Cycleway. (The Cycleway Bridge over the Shannon is currently under construction.) Noel Dunne was the Project Archaeologist for Transport Infrastructure Ireland on the Scheme. His illustrated presentation will explain the archaeological and architectural heritage investigations that were undertaken in advance of, and during, construction works. The Cycleway extends through the Abbey Graveyard and the grounds of St. Vincent’s Hospital, formerly the Athlone Union Workhouse. The investigations mainly relate to these two locations. The presentation will also incorporate the heritage audiobook produced for the Scheme, which was titled ‘The Unsilent Stones: Conservations with the Inhabitants of Athlone’s Abbey Graveyard’.

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