Site of "national importance" trumps carpark in Donegal

“I am hugely excited by the discovery. We have definitely put it up there to be possibly on a par with Clonmacnoise or Inishmurray,” said archaeologist Mick Drumm of Wolfhound Archaeology about the recent discovery of a 7th century monastery at Drumholm, near Ballintra, Co Donegal, Ireland. (photo)

A church hoped to extend a parking lot and cemetery on the site of the excavation where an earlier church, beehive huts, pottery and evidence of smelting have been found. St Ernan, a nephew of St Columba, is believed to have been buried here in 640 CE. “It’s unfortunate for the community they haven’t got their development. The silver lining is that we found an archaeological site at Drumholm that is much more extensive, much more important than we had previously known," said Drumm.