Gardai recover stroked Bronze Age jewellery from Strokestown

Hats and Fedoras off to the Gardai in Roscommon and Dublin, who (obviously having had their morning Weetabix last week) noticed something fishy about a haul of stolen goods they had recovered from a Dublin house.

In amongst some items recently stolen from a Strokestown chemists safe, was a wonderful Bronze Age gold Lunula and two gold Sun Discs. It appears the (deceased) owner”s daughter had NO idea of the value or the age of the artefacts. No idea. At all. I suppose that’s why she had them locked in a safe for 40 years. Because she had no idea. At all, at all. Ha. Fancy that. Um. Yeah.
This is the sad reality of treasure seeking, gold digging, metal detecting, MONGS in Ireland today and in recent decades. Open landscape archaeological sites are consistently targeted and raped by such people. Unknown sites sometimes remain unreported for years, as the original pillaging bastards, I mean, chance finders (who happened to be WALKING over a piece of land WITH a metal detector, which just HAPPENED to turn itself on at that exact moment) keep schtumm while they make sure that anything detectable is yanked out of the ground first.
It illegal to use one of these machines without a license, but that doesn’t stop some people. Objects such as these are ‘removed’ from their original archaeological contexts and priceless archaeological information is lost forever. The beautiful Lunula and two gold Sun Discs can tell us Sweet Fuck All now, about the Bronze Age people who buried these items in a hoard, over 4000 years ago.
Following the Derrynaflan Hoard court case in the 1980’s current Irish law states that any and all artefacts found, belong to the state and must be reported. The National Museum doesn’t have to reward anyone for doing so, but does operate such a scheme to ‘encourage’ reporting. Such priceless artefacts belong to ALL the people of Ireland who share the right to have such national treasures safeguarded and presented to the public. Along with the right NOT to have to pay inordinate prices to get their own heritage back from other thieving Irish cunts, I mean, people, who plundered it from its find spot in the first place.
Ireland has one of the most progressive legislation in Europe when it comes to this type of thing. Spare a thought for our neighbours in England, where metal detecting on private land IS legal. Known battlefields and archaeological sites which have not been scheduled by the government are sometimes used to hold metal detecting ‘rallies’, with the landowners permission. The Portable Antiquities Scheme is sometimes forced to set up a stand just outside the entrance to the land, in the hope that ‘participants’ voluntarily bring over their finds for examination. It is a rare case where Ireland leads the way on certain issues and legislation.
Now, of course the Strokestown find was probably nothing of the sort. At all. The said items will be formally presented to the National Museum sometime this week. No doubt through gritted teeth. But all’s well that ends well. Thanks to several thieving bastards, separated by four decades, we can now take solace in the fact that as it went unreported to the Museum, there’s no need for a ‘finders fee’ to be paid.
What a stroke of luck.

+ + + UPDATE + + + [March 26th 2010]

Ever quick on the draw, Paul Barford beat me to it on the news of today’s report in the Irish Times concerning the suspended sentencing of individuals involved in the above case.
Would it be a little smug if I pointed out the irony (beep beep) to metal detecting enthusiasts across the water that even a couple of drug addicted thieves, when confronted and informed of what they had inadvertently thrown away, were civic minded and willing enough to show the police where the priceless items had been dumped? Even later, to visit the said items in the museum, where they are held in trust on behalf of all the people of Ireland?
Yes, I rather think it would.

+ + + UPDATE + + + June 24th 2010]

The gold objects are now on display in the National Museum, Kildare Street, Dublin.
More here



  1. Do not tar treasure seeking ,nighthawking scum with the same brush as responsible honest knowledgeable people who willingly work with landowners and archaeologists and the PAS to ensure the proper recording of artifacts. This post is misleading and offensive to a lot of people and quite honestly sir I WOULD NOT PISS ON YOU IF YOU WERE ON FIRE.

  2. Wow, so it was stroked, hidden in Strokestown, then stroked again? A stroke of luck indeed that it’s been recovered…

  3. the woodster, my good man…I’m not in anyway biased or prejudiced about the likes of you and your ‘responsible honest knowledgeable’ friends ‘who willingly work with landowners and archaeologists and the PAS’, as you joyfully and wilfully rape your own countries heritage. If this was the case, then why would the PAS feel the need to follow around these ‘metal detectives’, setting up stands outside the land concerned? Surely your ‘responsible honest knowledgeable’ friends would be delighted to include them onsite and dutifully have them observe, record and keep all the finds?
    It’s actually you who is being offensive and misleading. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say I would piss you on you any day, WITHOUT you being on fire…
    In fact, I’m pissing on you right now…
    Mind the steam, there…

  4. So to make this clear, the 84% of reported treasure finds that came from detectorists in 2007 (latest PAS figures) that have been reported and recorded for the posterity of the country makes us all nighthawks? Your arguement just does not stack up. 1 bad penny doesn’t make a pound! You want to get your facts right first before you start casting all encompasing aspertions!

  5. Sheesh…who would have thunk a comparison with England in a story about Ireland would cause an international incident?
    For the record, I know and have worked with many fine detectorists from England. The ones that work with archaeologists within English Heritage licensing and guidelines. They wouldn’t be caught dead at any of the so called ‘turn up, tog out, get stuck in, “rallies” I speak about. And are in no way connected with any fuckwittery of any kind.
    Seeing as you’re fond of statistics, perhaps you could enlighten us as to how many of that 84% actually handed over their finds for the posterity of their country? And while you’re at it, how many cases ‘actually’ make up 84%? How many do you think are not reported?
    For unenlightened readers, I suggest taking a quick look at ‘antiquities for sale’ on and then making their own minds up.
    Perhaps you’d like to inform us of the total expenditure over the last few years that the British Government paid out to detectorists who claimed a finders fee, BEFORE handing over their artefacts ‘for posterity’?
    I’m not tarring you all with the same brush. Merely pointing out a needless, ludicrous, situation, exploited on mass by many, many fucktards of the highest order. If as many ‘good and honest’ detectorists jumped to affect and change their laws, instead of blindly jumping to defend and protect their ‘hobby’, then England and Wales wouldn’t have such problems. My original point was…and I’ll take it slowly here, so there’s no misunderstanding…that Ireland may be a broke down shithole, up to its arse in debt, run by Fianna Fail fuckwits; but at least we don’t have such a situation where the people involved in the original story would be entitled to a shedload of money for being dishonest in the first place.
    Apart from looking for loose change on a beach (beyond the legal waterline)…there is NO good reason, for any amateur in Ireland or Britain with a metal detector, to go looking for anything, outside of a officially licensed excavation.

  6. quote:suppose that’s why she had them locked in a safe for 40 years
    Wow she must have an antique metal-detector too then? Who would have thought a detector from the 60s would have been so good?
    Thanks for the information, I’m going straight over to Ebay to see if I can buy one!

  7. I’d say you’ll have no problem finding one…in between the LOOT and LOOTERS section…

  8. Hi ender,
    We like the cut of your jib. Please take a look at our website, lots of it could have been written by you, and drop us a line.
    As you have demonstrated, most detectorists are impervious to statistics and have spent a decade bleating they are distinct from nighthawking scum while denying or not getting it that the majority of them don’t report what they find to PAS (as confirmed by PAS) and therefore have the same moral standing as nighthawks (and incidentally, are responsible for vastly more information loss than nighthawks).
    But of course, you need to be willing and able to understand morality and statistics to appreciate that…

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