Major study aims to protect Ireland's battlefields

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he government launched a comprehensive study of 83 historic battlefields scattered across Ireland where Irish, British, French, Spanish and other European forces fought.

"The public has long been fascinated by tales of martial valour, dramatic success and ignominious defeat on the battlefield," Environment Minister Dick Roche said at the launch of a two-year study in 20 of Ireland's 26 counties.

"This major new initiative would research the key battlefield sites in Irish history on Irish soil, their location, extent and historical and archaeological backgrounds," he said.

Most of the sites involved battles between Irish and colonising British armies but some involved troops from continental Europe, particularly expeditionary forces from France and Spain.

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