According to last week’s Evening Echo a file in connection with the destruction of two ring forts in Kilmurry, Co. Cork, is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. How effective will a prosecution be? This case’s background and the prevailing legal situation, have been summed up wonderfully for the Village Magazine and here;

Note that these are ‘repeat offenders’. As you’re no doubt aware, punishment, in the heritage area, is mostly non-existent and rarely exceeds the benefits of the crime. Perhaps, in this case then, William O’Brien’s suggestion (as quoted below) might be given some serious consideration? Think of Dante’s Ruggieri and Ugolino;

“In the absence of any possibility of punitive recourse or forced reinstatement, O’Brien, who is also Chairman of the Royal Irish Academy’s Archaeological Committee, has suggested that “the State always has the option of placing preservation orders on levelled sites, bearing in mind these still contain buried archaeological remains”. These measures are within the Minister’s powers and would give the State control of these sites. At the least it would require the landowner to protect the site and prevent him from further benefiting from the destruction.”

Here’s hoping. Remove the benefit of the crime – it’s the only way to stop it happening again.