Published by the history blog Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
At noon on Monday, January 14th, construction workers renovating Cooney’s Bar in the South Tipperary town of Carrick-on-Suir unearthed 81 gold coins from the 17th century. The building crew was digging a hole in front of the pub’s bar area to prep the area before pouring a new concrete pad when Shane Murray found the coins lying on their sides, back to front like they were in one of those paper tubes you get at the bank to organize your penny jar. Whatever was once holding them together has decayed but the shape remains. The space where they were stashed was a recess — possibly an old door opening or a fireplace — opposite where the pub’s front counter once stood.
Murray showed them to his boss, contractor Shane Comerford, and Comerford threw them on the ground thinking they were fakes or tokens or some other kind of insignificant geegaw. Murray knew they were for reals gold, though, so he scooped them up. He and his crewmates examined them more closely and found 17th century dates and the belaureled profiles of English monarchs Charles II, James II, William and Mary and William III.
Shane Comerford took the coins to the pub’s owner, David Kiersey, and they sought legal counsel. By Irish law, all archaeological objects belong to the state and must be declared to the authorities within 96 hours of discovery. Comerford handed over the coins to the Carrick-on-Suir gardai (Irish police) and the gardai brought them to curators at the South Tipperary Museum. They are now being examined by experts at Dublin’s National Museum.
The 81 coins were viewed by dignitaries at the National Museum of Ireland on Wednesday, January 30th, but they are not yet on public display. Marie McMahon hopes the collection will return to its hometown for display at the South Tipperary Museum. If insurance proves to be a difficulty because of security concerns at the small local museum, replicas of the coins will be made for display.
– Taken from Article
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