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Volunteers carry out repairs on Slieve Gullion tomb

Volunteers climb to the summit of Slieve Gullion to begin repair work to a burial tomb. Picture from BBC
John Monaghan

A TEAM of volunteers has been praised after carrying out repair work to a burial cairn on top of a mountain in south Armagh.

Around 30 people, under the supervision of archaeologist Martin Keery, climbed to the summit of Slieve Gullion on Sunday and cleared the entrance to the 5,000-year-old passage grave.

The tomb is lined up to illuminate with light on the winter solstice on December 21 each year.

The mountain is also recalled in Irish mythology as the place where legendary warrior Cuchulainn killed a guard dog which attacked him.

In recent years the entrance to the cairn had been obstructed due to exposure to weather and accidental damage caused by hill walkers.

The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, which was set up to protect the local environment, organised the repairs.

Sin Féin MLA Megan Fearon said it had carried out "excellent work".

"This tomb is part of the reason why up to 20,000 visitors come to the Ring of Gullion every year. We must ensure its value as a tourist attraction is balanced with preserving the burial cairn for future generations," she said.

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