A more than 2,000 year old Iron Age monument near Loughrea will be getting a facelift in the form of a new enclosure to ensure its long term protection.
Galway County Council has approved plans by the OPW to relocated the Turoe Stone in Bullaun, putting it in a glazed enclosure that will better display and protect it.
The Turoe Stone is a national monument decorated in Celtic style La Tène artwork, which is believed to date back to around the 2nd century
The Stone is currently situated on the front lawn of Turoe House, having been moved there from elsewhere on Turoe Pet Farm in 2014.
It is believed that the stone was originally situated near the Rath of Feerwore, an Iron
Age ring-fort structure, at Kiltullagh, before being moved in the 1850s.
The new enclosure will be 8.1m in diameter and 2.7m in height, with a glass cylinder topped by a glazed roof disc, and supported by steel piers.
The enclosure will protect the stone, and its carvings, from deterioration brought on by exposure to wind, rain, and temperature/humidity changes.
Changes will also be made to the access point to the site, and additional car parking created for ease of access for visitors.
Planning permission was granted by Galway County Council with eight conditions attached, mainly aimed at ensuring the proper care of the monument.
A Conservation Management Plan, setting out the care of the enclosure and clear objectives for the conservation of the stone, must be approved prior to the stone’s installation in the new enclosure.
The council also stated that before work begins, a qualified archaeologist must be hired to carry out test excavations at the site, and report any material of archaeological interest.