The “Big Lismore Dig” With Brendan O’Hara MP


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Brendan O’Hara MP with Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archaeology

It was a far cry from the House of Commons when local MP Brendan O’Hara swapped his business suit and the green benches for a pair of old jeans and walking boots to become a volunteer on the Big Lismore Dig to uncover a medieval cathedral dating as far back as the late 12th and 13th century and which served the newly created diocese of Argyll.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery, the project which began in 2016 and led by Dr Bob Hay of the Lismore Heritage Centre and Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archeology was able to continue its work digging deeper into the soil and unearthing historical artefacts such as medieval pottery, skulls and skeletons. The main aim however of this part of the dig is to reveal the walls of the nave so that Argyll’s cathedral can be seen by the community and visitors alike.

Brendan O’Hara MP with Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archaeology

Mr O’Hara who joined dozens of volunteers said,

This is a fascinating piece of local history.  Never did I expect when I took on the job of MP, I would be part of an archeological dig to uncover such a significant find as this.  To think that we are looking back 700 years is quite astonishing and it just shows again what is going on here in Argyll and Bute.  It is so important that we know our history and where we have come from”.

“I would like to thank Bob and Claire for inviting me along today and with funding permitting I hope they will be able to continue with this next year.  I would love to do it again.”

Images: courtesy of Kevin McGlynn

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