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Tuesday, 11th May 2021

Drogheda man Anthony Murphy found two new logboats in the Boyne.

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One of the logboats photographed by Anthony Murphy using his drone.

 The National Monuments Service has confirmed that two new logboats, that could date from Medieval times, were found by Mr Murphy.

It is official - two logboats, which could date from Medieval times were found by citizen archaeologist Mr Murphy in the Boyne using his drone.

The discoveries bring to 14 the number of logboats found in the Boyne in the last 200 years.

The news was reported by DroghedaLife over the weekend and now it has been officially confirmed.

In a statement the National Monuments Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said it, ‘can confirm that of the three logboats imaged by Mr Murphy, two are new discoveries.’

‘All three logboats lie in relatively close proximity to each other and are similar in appearance and possibly date too (medieval to post medieval) but a closer examination of the boats would be required to confirm this.’

 They were spotted, along with a third boat already known about, by Mr Murphy using a drone, along a 500 metres stretch of the river bed near Mell.

In the heatwave of 2018 Mr Murphy made international headlines when, with Mr Ken Williams, he found a previously unknown henge near Newgrange, county Meath using a drone. 

Reacting to the official confirmation, Mr Murphy said, “it's incredible to think that the Boyne logboats have been sitting in the bed of the river for centuries, and perhaps millennia, waiting for that serendipitous day when a combination of low tide, sparse rainfall and the wonderful technology of drones to be seen again.”

“We don't yet know the age of the dugout boats that I found, but it is believed they are medieval or post-medieval.”

“Let's hypothesise that they're 800 years old  - a specialist has indicated for the first boat a hypothetical date range of 400 to 1650AD -  that would mean they have been in the River Boyne since around the time the Normans fortified Drogheda.”

“If they're from the earlier part of the date range, these boats could have been sitting in the Boyne when Saint Patrick came up the river from the estuary to Slane. It's really mind-blowing stuff.”

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