Belfast Telegraph

Investigation launched after 1,000-year-old Co Tyrone heritage site damaged

A 1,000-year-old heritage site in County Tyrone has been badly damaged, police say.

An investigation was launched after police received a call from a concerned member of the community on Saturday.

Lisnabulrevey Rath, on the outskirts of Fintona, is a prehistoric earthwork and is usually surrounded by circular ramparts and ditches.

The resident told the police they thought the ring fort was being removed. Police attended the scene and intervened.

The Department of Communities, which is responsible for Northern Ireland's sites and monuments, has also been notified and is assisting police in their investigation.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: "The rath in question is that referred to as TYR 050-003 in Lisnabulrevey Townland, a heritage site over 1,000 years old located on a hilltop just south of Fintona, Co Tyrone. We can confirm that there has been considerable damage caused to the rath.

"Officials from the Department for Communities (DFC) have visited the site and advised that no further works take place at the rath. Officials from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs are also aware of the incident and discussion is ongoing between DFC, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the local planning authority.

"Historic monuments recorded in the Sites and Monuments Record are subject to planning policies under the Planning Act (NI) 2011 and related legislation to ensure that their interest is taken into consideration when changes to them or their settings are proposed.  Potential sanctions under the various policies vary depending on the circumstances.  Farmland may also be subject to certain restrictions under European Regulations." 

They added: "As an investigation is currently underway it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

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