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Way back in 1996, the SundayTimes newspaper in Britain ran an enthusiastic if awkwardly-phrased banner headline proclaiming that a “Fort discovery proves Romans invaded Ireland“. The “fort” in question wasan archaeological sitein north County Dublin known asDrumanagh, situated on a wave-eroded headland near the coastal village of Loughshinny. Nearly900 metreslong and 190metres wide, the monument consists ofa trio of parallel ditches protecting an oblongthumbof land jutting out into the ocean,theseawardsides of the irregular protrusion relying onthe waters of the Irish Sea for defence. The location isfairly typicalof a large number of Iron Age promontory settlements foundin isolated spots throughout the country. However what made the areaat Drumanagh of particular interest was the significant number of Roman artefacts foundwithin its fields.

Unfortunately acomprehensive archaeological survey of the site has yet to be publisheddue to questions over property rights andcompensatory paymentsfor finds, meaningmost discoveries from the…

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