Audio Guides

In recent years TII Archaeology and Heritage has sought to expand on the various methods it uses to communicate the results of archaeological investigations on road and light rail schemes to the general public. A series of specially commissioned audio guides produced by Abarta Heritage represents the newest form of dissemination adopted by TII. These guides can be accessed via Abarta Heritage's website or Soundcloud page, and can be downloaded for free.

Cover of Meitheal audio book

Meitheal: stories from early medieval Ireland

This audio book provides glimpses of life in a large settlement in Ireland, sometime around the sixth or seventh century AD.

On a long, low ridge in the small townland of Raystown near Ashbourne in County Meath, archaeologists discovered the remains of a large and complex site that was once part of the ancient kingdom of Brega. The excavations, in advance of the construction of the M2 Finglas to Ashbourne Motorway, revealed a place where people worked the fields, milled grains, feasted, lived and buried their dead well over a thousand years ago. This large farming settlement was to endure for at least 600 years, and this discovery produced a wealth of new insights into life in early medieval Ireland.  

This audio book weaves a number of fictional tales, informed by the dig and the artefacts discovered, to help introduce some of the people who lived at Raystown. You’ll meet the lord or flaith of the settlement, his bóaire who managed the farms and mills, a slave, and a wanderer. You’ll join in a feast for a King, and hear the aftermath of a raid on a rival settlement.

Many of the details in the tales were inspired by the remarkable discoveries outlined in the new TII publication Meitheal: the archaeology of lives, labours and beliefs at Raystown, Co. Meath (TII Heritage 4) by Matthew Seaver.

The audio book was produced by Abarta Heritage for Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The script was written by Neil Jackman of Abarta Heritage with the specialist insights of Matthew Seaver and Terry O’Hagan. The audio book was recorded and produced by Róisín Burke and Declan Lonergan, and narrated by Sarah Jane Scott, Sam Lucas Smith and Danny Kehoe.

Cover of Luas audio guide

Luas: Dublin's timeline

Welcome to the Luas: Dublin’s Timeline audio book. The Luas is Dublin’s light-rail transit service. The development of the Luas network saw some of the biggest infrastructural developments of modern Dublin. In a city as old as Dublin, wherever you dig you are likely to find echoes of the past.

During the construction of the Luas lines, experienced teams of archaeologists kept a careful watch as they monitored the works, and identified and excavated any archaeological remains that were encountered. Their meticulous records reveal a wealth of new information about Dublin’s history, and this audio book helps to tell the story of what was discovered, along with the history and stories from each of the stops. Hear about Dublin’s early origins, its Viking past and life in medieval Dublin. You’ll also hear tales of tragedy and poverty from Dublin’s tenements, and violence as the 1916 Easter Rising nearly tore the city apart. You can also encounter some of Dublin’s characters and folk-tales such as Copper Face Jack or the notorious thief Scaldbrother. This audio book is also packed with information about Dublin’s engineering and architecture, arts, culture and politics. You’ll find information about some of the most famous parts of the city, like St Stephen’s Green, the Four Courts, Smithfield and more!

The audio book is delivered in a series of tracks, with each track representing the story of one of the Luas stops along the central portion of the Luas Red and Green Lines, from Heuston Station to Charlemont.  This audio book was produced by Abarta Heritage on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.  It was narrated by Sharon Mannion and Gerry O’Brien and written by Neil Jackman, with the kind support of Emer Dennehy and Rónán Swan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.  We are indebted to the teams of archaeologists who worked so diligently to uncover the story of Dublin during the construction of the Luas.

Cover of Ballyhanna audio guide

Ballyhanna: stories from the grave

Download the free Ballyhanna: stories from the grave audio book and immerse yourself in tales of medieval Ireland. This groundbreaking audio book tells the story of the archaeological excavation of Ballyhanna. In 2003 archaeologists discovered the remains of a long-forgotten medieval graveyard at Ballyhanna on the outskirts of Ballyshannon in County Donegal. The graveyard contained the skeletal remains of more than a thousand men, women and children. These remains were scientifically studied by the Ballyhanna Research Project, One of the primary aims of the project is to show how scientific research may aid our interpretations of archaeology and reveal new insights into past societies. The project research tells us about this community through death and burial traditions, and by examining these aspects, it also tells us about the people that lived in this medieval community, who, over the course of a millennium, were laid to rest in a small graveyard by the banks of the River Erne.

This audio book details the excavations and scientific projects. It also tells stories from the graves, in a series of first-person fictionalised accounts based on the information gleaned during the excavation and analysis.

Cover of Woodstown audio book

Woodstown: Viking settlement in Waterford

The Woodstown: Viking settlement in Waterford audio book engagingly tells the story of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological discoveries. Archaeologists investigating the proposed route of the Waterford City Bypass in 2003 uncovered the remains of a ninth-century Viking settlement on the banks of the River Suir at Woodstown in County Waterford. The site has been hailed by scholars as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever made in Ireland.

This immersive audio book is an accessible companion to Woodstown: a Viking-Age settlement in Co. Waterford edited by Ian Russell and Maurice F Hurley, and published by Four Courts Press. It contains in-depth analysis of the site and its artefacts by a variety of international experts who look at what the remains can reveal about the Vikings in Ireland.

This guide was produced in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Waterford Treasures: Three Museums in the Viking Triangle.

Cover of M6 audio guide

The M6: a route through time

Combining the latest archaeological information with historical sources The M6: a route through time audio book is an accessible but authoritative insight into the wonderful history of the region through which the M6 motorway between Kinnegad and Galway travels. This audio book tells the story of this incredible landscape through the newly discovered archaeological sites and also shows the listener the wonderful heritage sites that are still accessible along the route, like the magnificent monastic site of Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly, and the medieval walled town of Athenry and the site of Ireland’s bloodiest battle at Aughrim, both in County Galway.

This audio book is extensively researched and presents the complex story of this landscape in a unique and accessible way, drawing not only on the archaeological reports from the scheme, but also the results of archaeological excavations by the National Museum of Ireland, and a wide variety of other academic research, publications and cartographic information.

The audio book was produced by Abarta Heritage for Transport Infrastructure Ireland, with thanks to the National Museum of Ireland, the National Monuments Service and especially to the many archaeologists, specialists and archaeological consultancies involved on the road scheme: CRDS Ltd, Eachtra Archaeological Projects, Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd, IAC Ltd, The Archaeology Company, and Valerie J Keeley Ltd.