5,000-year-old murder mystery at Clare Museum

5,000-year-old murder mystery at Clare Museum


A 5,000-year-old murder mystery from the Burren in County Clare is the subject of an exhibition at Clare Museum in Ennis.

The ‘Death on the Burren’ exhibition will be launched on 25th June at 7.30 pm by Dr. Ann Lynch, who led the excavation of Poulnabrone in 1986 making some intriguing finds, including the suspicious death of an individual who was buried there.

The free exhibition, which will run until the end of 2019,  provides an opportunity for families to get their detective caps on to help solve the ancient mystery by examining the evidence from scientific analysis of a hip-bone with an arrowhead embedded in it.

Situated on Karst limestone in the Burren, the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s more accessible megalithic structures attracting over tens of thousands of visitors each year.  It was used as a burial place for 600 years between 5,800 and 5,200 years ago.

According to museum Curator, John Rattigan, “This exhibition is just one of several initiatives that Clare Museum will be rolling out in the coming months as part of its Education and Engagement Programme. The programme is designed to promote the museum’s potential as an exceptional educational resource while also highlighting the rich culture and history of County Clare for tourists and locals alike.”

In the months ahead, Clare Museum will begin a series of public talks on a broad range of historical topics, will make available replica artefacts for parents with children to explore, activity sheets and some new projects to provide support for local primary schools.

The ‘Death on the Burren’ exhibition opening takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on 25th June. Entry to the launch event is free of charge, but places are limited and must be booked via email only (dkeller@clarecoco.ie).

The Poulnabrone items on display at Clare Museum as part of a long-term loan from the National Museum of Ireland.