Tributes on death of Professor George Eogan | Meath Chronicle

Nobber native led excavations of Knowth

The death has occurred of the eminent archaeologist, Nobber native George Eogan, best known for his work on the excavations at Knowth which revealed a notable cemetery of Neolithic Passage Graves.

With a particular interest in the Neolithic and Late Bronze Ages, George Eogan’s first degree at University College Dublin was followed by a doctoral thesis on Irish Late Bronze Age swords at Trinity College Dublin under Frank Mitchell. In the 1950s, he worked with PJ Hartnett on the Neolithic passage tomb at Fourknocks, and with Sean O Riordain at the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara.

He was the Director of the Knowth Research Project and excavated at Knowth for more than 40 years as part of his investigation of the Passage Tomb builders in Ireland and Western Europe.

Prof Eogan also studied archaeology at Queen’s University of Belfast and at Oxford.

He travelled widely in Europe and Western Asia with his archaeological studies.

He was honoured in his home village with the naming of the local interpretative centre after him in Nobber, and is also a past recipient of the Royal Meath Association Meath Personality of the Year Award.

Tributes have been led by the Meath East TD and Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, who said: “Prof George Eogan led the archaeological excavations of the Brú na Bóinne complex over a 40 year period – he spearheaded the Knowth investigations which would go on to be recognised as one of the greatest pieces of archaeology of our time. I had the pleasure of getting a personal tour of Knowth from George some years ago, which is a particular fond memory.

“George was also a former Independent Senator in the late 1980s. In recent years I often met George for a coffee when he was visiting Leinster House.

“George was honoured by the community in Nobber back in 2016 when the ‘George Eogan Cultural and Heritage Centre’ was officially opened by President Higgins. It was always a distinct pleasure to be in his company. My sincere sympathies to the Eogan family and all of George’s friends in Nobber,” Minister Byrne concluded.

Paying tribute to the late Professor George Eogan, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, said: “Professor George Eogan was a proud Meath man who through over 40 years of dedicated work at Knowth brought the monuments of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne to international attention.

“It is every archaeologist’s dream to discover long hidden treasure, but few archaeologists can rival the discoveries made during Professor Eogan’s excavations at Knowth, which began in 1962.”

Professor Eogan died on Thursday, peacefully at Our Lady’s Hospice, “following a long and happy life” according to his family.

He is survived by his wife Fiona (née Stephens); family, James, Maeve, Deirdre and Clíona, daughter- and sons-in-law Maeve O’Callaghan, Mark Simpson, Niall Murphy and Brian Moore; grandchildren, Heather, Sarah, Lucy, Henry, Martha, Joseph, Eleanor, Anna, Charlotte and Louisa; extended family, friends, colleagues and former students.

Requiem Mass will take place on Monday 22nd November at 10am in St. Joseph’s Church, Terenure followed by burial at St John’s Old Cemetery, Nobber. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Mercer’s Institute for Research on Ageing, St. James’s Hospital or to Our Lady’s Hospice.

Source: Einnews

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