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At least 20 ancient graves discovered in Maghery

At least 20 ancient graves have been discovered during archaeological testing in Maghery on Monday.

Armagh I learned of the discovery on Tuesday and contacted the local parish, police and Department of Communities to ascertain the nature of the find.

Police told this publication they “were made aware of the discovery of ancient human remains in the Maghery Road area on Monday, July 24,” however, it was “not being treated as a matter for police”.

It is understood the discovery came in very close proximity to cemetery which is based adjacent to the Church of St Mary.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities confirmed they had been notified of the discovery of human remains uncovered during archaeological testing.

“The archaeological works are being carried out under licence from Department for Communities,” the spokesperson said.

“A proposed cemetery extension area is in the vicinity of a medieval church site and has potential to contain associated medieval archaeological remains. While archaeological works are at an early stage, investigations have uncovered remains of at least 20 graves.

“The PSNI have been notified and the remains have been determined as not a police matter.

“As investigations continue our archaeologists will ensure that all human remains uncovered will be treated sensitively and preserved.

“Once completed, the results of archaeological testing will be used to inform our advice to the planning authority regarding the relevant planning application.”

It is understood the planning application relates to the extension of the graveyard at the Church of St Mary.

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