Prehistoric gold artefacts discovered on Donegal farm

Prehistoric gold artefacts have recently been discovered on a farm in Co. Donegal, the National Museum of Ireland has confirmed.

It appears that the artefacts date back to the late Bronze Age.

The National Museum of Ireland received a report on Tuesday, June 26, alerting them to the discovery.

Following that, experts from the museum travelled to the site in the east of the county where the artefacts were discovered and carried out “a thorough investigation of the area for evidence of how and when the important artefacts were deposited”.

The gold artefacts were discovered when Norman Witherow, a farmer in Co. Donegal, was carrying out some drainage work in a field.

Speaking to RTE News last week, Witherow said: “There were two lads in one of the test holes; they lifted a stone to set it somewhere else and under the stone were four gold rings.

“[We] threw them onto the quad and got on with the work. Come lunchtime, we rinsed them under the tap and thought they’re nice.

“They kicked about all weekend in our kitchen; the neighbours looked at them and the visitors looked at them and we looked at them – people speculated and wondered.

Then on Monday I showed them to a friend – Lynn Harris – who is a goldsmith; she works in Derry at a jewellers and she knows the game. When she looked at them, her jaw just dropped.

‘Exciting find’

It was Donegal County Museum who first received reports of the find.

Commenting on the discovery, Eileen Burgess – cultural services manager with Donegal County Council – said: “As a designated museum, the staff of the Donegal County Museum was delighted to assist our colleagues in the National Museum in the recovery and safekeeping of this gold hoard.

“We would like to sincerely thank the finders and the local community for reporting this find and following best archaeological and farming practice.

“The county museum looks forward to working with the national museum to discover more about this exciting prehistoric find.”

It has been confirmed that the artefacts will be put on display as soon as initial investigations are concluded.