Teams working on the watermains in Mullingar discovered bone remains while digging on Austin Friars Street yesterday, Thursday, at approximately 7.30pm.
A ShareRidge worker came across a partial left thigh bone about a metre from the surface of the road.
After the discovery, the gardaí were alerted, and they contacted the relevant authorities. The scene was sealed off to protect the find.
The site of the discovery was on the southern side of the street just yards from the statue depicting two monks from the Augustinian order.
The Augustinians came to Mullingar in 1227 when they were invited to found a priory by the then Bishop of Meath. They continued to serve in the Diocese until 1559 when the monastery closed during the Reformation.
In 1996 during previous construction work in the Austin Friars Street area, the foundations of the monastery’s prior house were uncovered along with the remains of a number of monks.
Following this week’s discovery, Billy Quinn, an archaeologist from Moore Group, based in Galway, visited the scene.
“Workers have uncovered partial skeletal remains of a left thigh bone about a metre deep from the surface of the road,” he said.
“The rest of the remains of the thigh bone had gone through a cast iron pipe. The body was placed in an east facing direction, indicating that it was a Christian burial. I estimate the thigh bone dates back to Medieval times.”
When all necessary checks are completed on the remains, they will be removed to the National History Museum for public display.