County Kerry discoveries published

The 2021 Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society features an article about the archaeological discoveries made in advance of the construction of the N70 Kilderry Bends Road Improvement Scheme, just west of Milltown in County Kerry.

Kerri Cleary, Ed Lyne and John Olney begin by detailing an important cluster of pits in the townland of Kilcolman that suggest Neolithic farmers were occupying the area sometime between c. 3650–3350 BC. This included leaving behind charred hazelnuts, a rubbing/hammer stone, two sherds of carinated bowl pottery and a stone bead. Just over 300 m to the north-east of this site, additional prehistoric occupation was evidenced by a burnt mound (also known as fulacht fia) dated to the Middle Bronze Age.

This is followed by a summary of the excavations undertaken at a multivallate ringfort (RMP KE047-054) known as Lissaniska (Lios an Uisce—fort of the water). This work focused on the northern portion of the enclosing elements (ditches and banks), revealing evidence for water management practices and several well-preserved wood vessels, as well as evidence for likely flax retting within the inner ditch. Radiocarbon dating suggests the site was established by the late seventh or early eighth century AD and continued in use potentially until the eleventh century.

Additional sites detailed in the article include late medieval charcoal-production pits in the townlands of Kilderry South and Knockagarrane and features relating to the 17th/18th-century occupation of Kilcoleman Demesne, including the remains of a small cottage and landscaped features.

County Kerry discoveries published

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Deirdre Murphy B.A.(Hons), H.Dip. Ed., M.Litt.

Senior Archaeologist

Deirdre is licence eligible since 1995 and has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating from University College Dublin in 1992 (NFQ Level 8 in Archaeology). In 1998 she was awarded an M.Litt (NFQ Level 9) for her thesis on Medieval Drogheda. She was a Company Director of ACS Ltd from 1997–2009.

As Senior Archaeologist, Deirdre has led some of the largest infrastructural projects undertaken across Ireland, including the Cavan Bypass (1998); Tuam Regional Water Supply Scheme (2000); N18/N19 Ballycasey–Dromoland Road Scheme (2001); M4 Kinnegad–Enfield–Kilcock Motorway (2001–2004); N7 Heath–Mayfield Road Scheme (2003); N8 Rathcormac–Fermoy Bypass (2003); N25 Waterford Bypass (2003–2007); M3 Clonee to North of Kells Motorway (2005–2010); M7/M8 Motorway (2005–2008), Mayo–Galway Gas Pipeline (2005), Corrib Towns Feeder Routes (2007–2008) and N52 Cloghan–Billistown Road Improvement Scheme (2018–2019).

Deirdre has written and edited a large number of archaeological reports on behalf of ACSU including more recently for the N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project (2017–2019) and the N55 Corduff to South of Killydoon Road Realignment Scheme (2018–2019). She has also published several papers in archaeological and historical periodicals including the Journal of the County Louth Archaeological & Historical Society, as well as assisting in the publication of the results of excavations undertaken on the M4 Motorway (2008) and the M8 Motorway (2013).

Jon Stirland B.Sc.(Hons), M.A.

Senior Archaeologist and Project Manager

Jon is licence eligible in Northern Ireland since 2006 and in the Republic of Ireland since 2014. His primary degree is in Countryside and Environmental Management from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and before studying archaeology Jon worked for four years with the UK Environmental Protection Agency. After joining ACSU in 2000, Jon specialised in archaeological and cultural heritage impact assessments, landscape impact assessments and the archaeology of standing buildings, completing an M.A. (NFQ Level 9) in Archaeology and Heritage Management from the University of Leicester in 2008.

As Senior Archaeologist and Excavation Director, Jon has worked throughout the island of Ireland on a large number of infrastructural projects, for private developers, state agencies and local authorities. He has also managed and produced a large number of constraint studies, route selections and impact assessments, including the N3 Virginia Bypass, N7 Naas Road Widening Scheme, N15 Sligo to Bunduff Bridge Road Scheme and the Carrowkeel Passage Grave Complex Management Plan.

Jon has extensive experience in all forms of fieldwork, from test excavation to monitoring and full excavation on both urban and rural sites, as well as geophysical surveys, visual impact assessments and architectural heritage surveys. He has particular expertise in the archaeology of historic buildings, including understanding historic buildings though the study of structural phasing and detailed documentary research. Jon is also a specialist in lithics analysis, with a specific interest in Neolithic and Bronze Age assemblages within ritual deposition contexts.

Jane O’Brien

Office Manager

Jane O’Brien joined Archaeological Consultancy Services Unit in 2017 as Office Manager and has over 20 years’ experience in Administration. Jane is responsible for the management of Administration, Financial and HR functions also supporting the team in Logistics and Operations.

Jane is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, customer billing and customer sales along with preparing payroll. Jane also manages the HR function and overseeing of all training necessary for staff and recruitment of staff. Along with being responsible for HR policies and procedures, staying up to date with current employment legislation.

Robert Breen B.Sc. (Hons)

Senior Archaeological Supervisor and Geophysics

Robert has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating from IT Sligo in 2014 with an NFQ Level 8 qualification in Applied Archaeology. He joined ACSU in 2016 and specialises in GIS and field survey techniques including geophysical surveying.

Robert has worked on many large-scale excavations, including the N5 (Mayo) and N70 (Kerry) road schemes, the site of the New Children’s Hospital in Dublin city, the Abbey Creative Quarter in Kilkenny city, and the multi-period settlement at Haynestown in Dundalk, Co. Louth. In his role as Geophysical Survey Technician, Robert has designed and completed numerous surveys on a variety of rural and urban sites across Ireland.

Before joining ACSU, Robert worked as an Archaeological Supervisor on a number of additional projects, such as the N4 road scheme in county Sligo and the Richmond Penitentiary cholera cemetery in county Dublin. His main research interests are Viking and early medieval archaeology and in 2019 he attended a training course on environmental sampling strategies, organised by the Institute of Archaeologist of Ireland.

Martin Halpin

Draughting Department

Martin has over 25 years of experience in archaeological illustration. He has worked with ACSU as Drafting Manager since 1997, with responsibility for producing publication-quality report graphics, designing illustration strategies for numerous large-scale infrastructural projects, on-site surveying and the design and upkeep of an internal file management system. He has coordinated both the on-site and off-site draughting for many of the large road projects ACSU have completed to-date, including the M1, M3, M7, N25 and N5.

Martin has expertise in CAD, Trimble Business Centre and the Adobe Suite and has produced high-quality images for ACSU for the following publications:

  • 2007 – Monumental Beginnings: The archaeology of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road, by Ed Danaher, NRA Scheme Monographs 1.
  • 2008 – The Archaeology Of Life And Death in the Boyne Floodplain: The Linear Landscape of the M4, by Neil Carlin, Linda Clarke and Fintan Walsh, NRA Scheme Monographs 2.
  • 2009 – Places Along The Way: First findings on the M3, edited by Mary B. Deevy and Donald Murphy, NRA Scheme Monographs 5.
  • 2011 – Cois tSiúre – nine thousand years of human activity in the Lower Suir Valley: Archaeological excavations on the N26 Waterford City Bypass, edited by James Eogan and Elizabeth Shee Twohig, NRA Scheme Monographs 8.
  • 2012 – Corrstown: A Coastal Community, Excavations of a Bronze Age village in Northern Ireland, by Victoria Ginn and Stuart Rathbone.
  • 2014 – A Viking-Age Settlement in Co. Waterford, by Ian Russell and Maurice F. Hurley.

Martin has also worked with the National Monuments Service to produced publication-quality graphics for the following monographs:

  • 2013 – Clogh Oughter Castle, Co. Cavan: Archaeology, History and Architecture, by Conleth Manning, Archaeological Monograph Series 8.
  • 2014 – High Island (Ardoileán) Co. Galway, Excavation of a Medieval Monastery, by Georgina Scally, Archaeological Monograph Series 10. 
  • 2016 – A Place Of Great Consequence. Archaeological Excavations at King John’s Castle, Limerick, 1990–98, by Ken Wiggins.

Magda Lyne M.A., MIAI

Senior Archaeologist

Magda is licence eligible since 2019 and has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating from the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Poland, in 2009 (NFQ Level 9 in Archaeology). She joined ACSU in 2019 and specialises in archaeological desktop assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments. She is also proficient in all on-site archaeological techniques and assessment types, surveying, computer database management, finds and sample processing, and post-excavation work, including digitizing, illustration production and finds drawing.

Magda began her career excavating sites for her home University and then as a curator’s assistant in the Archaeological Museum in Poznan. In 2006, Magda moved to Ireland to work on a variety of large-scale infrastructure projects (e.g. M3, N9/10, N18 and N22 road projects), as well as with the School of Archaeology in University College Dublin. Between 2011 and 2017 she worked for various institutions in both Denmark and Norway, including the Museum of Copenhagen and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research. She has a particular interest in aerial and cartographic analysis and communicating the value of archaeology to the wider community. She has presented her archaeological research at a number of international conferences.

Linda Clarke B.A.(Hons)

Senior Archaeologist

Linda is licence eligible since 2001 and has worked as a professional archaeologist with ACSU since graduating from University College Dublin in 1999 with an NFQ Level 8 qualification in Archaeology.

She has extensive experience in test excavation, monitoring, full excavation on urban and rural sites, as well as post-excavation analysis and reporting. As Senior Archaeologist and Excavation Director, Linda has participated in some of the largest infrastructural schemes undertaken in Ireland, including the M4 Kinnegad–Enfield–Kilcock Motorway (2001–2004) and the M3 Clonee to North of Kells Motorway (2005–2010). She has directed many large-scale excavations, including an early medieval settlement site at Boyerstown, a prehistoric cemetery site at Ardsallagh, and a multi-period settlement and cemetery site of 400 burials at Johnstown, all in county Meath.

Linda has also published several articles and contributed to many books, including as co-author of The Archaeology of Life and Death in the Boyne Floodplain (2008), which is a full account of the archaeological excavations carried out in advance of the construction of the M4 Motorway.

Kerri Cleary B.A.(Hons), M.A., Ph.D., MIAI

Editorial and Research Manager

Kerri has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating with an M.A. (NFQ Level 9) in Archaeology from University College Cork in 2002. She subsequently completed her Ph.D. (NFQ Level 10) in 2007 and has since specialised in post-excavation analysis, including research and editing, with extensive experience in managing, interpreting and archiving all forms of excavation-generated data.

She joined ACSU in 2018 with responsibility for managing post-excavation research and quality across all projects, including the final reporting and publication stages for the N70, N52 and N5 road schemes. Kerri previously worked in the UK as a Post-Excavation Manager (2017–2018) and as a University of Wales Research Fellow (2013–2016). Prior to this, she was Project Coordinator for the publication of discoveries on six gas pipelines in county Cork (2012–2013) and the sixth volume in the Knowth series, focusing on the Neolithic archaeology of the large passage tomb within the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site (2007–2010).

Kerri served on the IAI Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014 and she has also been an academic advisor for many publications and public outreach projects, from NRA Scheme Monographs (2012) to the redesign of the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (2017–2019).

Jeanne Rochford B.A.(Hons), M.A.

Senior Archaeological Supervisor and Geophysics

Jeanne has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating from University College Cork in 2013 (NFQ Level 8 in Archaeology and History). She subsequently undertook post-graduate studies and graduated with an M.A. (NFQ Level 9) in Archaeology from University College Dublin in 2015.

Jeanne joined ACSU in 2016 and has worked on numerous large-scale, rural and urban projects across Ireland on our behalf, such as the site of the New Children's Hospital in Dublin city, the Abbey Creative Quarter in Kilkenny city and Lissaniska Ringfort on the N70 Road Improvement Scheme in County Kerry. Since 2017, Jeanne has also participated in the completion of numerous geophysical surveys on a wide variety of sites across the country.

Her main research interests are medieval and environmental archaeology and in 2019 she attended a training course on environmental sampling strategies, organised by the Institute of Archaeologist of Ireland.

Ian Russell B.A.(Hons), M.A.

Senior Archaeologist

Ian is licence eligible since 1999 and has worked as a Senior Archaeologist since 2001. He joined ACSU in 1998, after graduating from University College Dublin with an NFQ Level 8 qualification in Archaeology followed by an NFQ Level 9 qualification in Classical Studies.

As Senior Archaeologist and Excavation Director, Ian has participated in some of the largest infrastructural schemes undertaken in Ireland, including the M1 Northern Motorway Project (2001–2002), the N25 Waterford Bypass (2003–2007), sections of the M3 Clonee to North of Kells Motorway (2010) and the N5 Westport to Turlough road scheme (2015–2017). He directed excavations at the Viking site of Woodstown in county Waterford, an internationally important site that Ian published in 2014 in conjunction with Viking expert, Dr Maurice F. Hurley.

Ian has extensive practical experience in test excavation, monitoring and excavation on urban and rural sites, as well as environmental impact assessments, visual impact assessments, architectural heritage surveys and metal detection surveys. He also has over 20 years of experience in archaeological photography, specialising in aerial photography using a UAV (drone), photogrammetry, 360-degree and walkthrough photography and 3D-modelling of excavations, monuments, buildings and artefacts.

Glenn Gibney B.A.(Hons), M.A., IAPO(Grad.), MIAI


Glenn has worked as a professional archaeologist since graduating from Trinity College Dublin in 2017 with a B.A(Hons) in History and Ancient History and Archaeology. He subsequently specialised in the study of human remains and graduated with an MA (NFQ Level 9) in Human Osteoarchaeology from University College Cork in 2018. He was awarded a first class honours and his thesis examined the discourse in Irish archaeology surrounding the treatment of women who died in childbirth.

He joined ACSU in 2018 as an osteoarchaeologist and has excavated several burial sites covering a wide temporal span. These include Bronze Age cremation burials, early medieval unenclosed cemeteries and modern inhumations of individuals of known biography. Several of these sites are currently being written with a view to publication. Stemming directly from his M.A. work, his main research agendas include the burial and treatment of women who died while pregnant, childhood disease, and neonatal inhumations.

Glenn is an active graduate member of the Irish Association of Professional Osteoarchaeologist (IAPO), a full member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) and a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI). He has also participated in teaching primary and secondary school students the role of a commercial osteoarchaeologist within the heritage sector.

Donald Murphy B.A.(Hons), M.A., MIAI

Managing Director and Senior Archaeologist