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Leinster Leader, February 27, 1909



The morbid interest which is usually aroused by the discover of human remains outside of recognised burial places was created in Naas on Saturday, when the rumour spread that a human skeleton had been unearthed in the Back Lane a short distance below the surface. While engaged in excavations for the laying of the sewerage main drain at a spot situate equidistant between the Christian Brothers’ Schools and Basin Street a man named Martin Kelly, a resident of the Lane, employed by Messers. Fleming Brothers, the contractors, came upon the skeleton of a man, about four feet from the surface of the road and some eighteen inches below the gas pipe laid along the Lane. The bones were in an almost perfect state of preservation, and the frame still hung together. The soil in which it was embedded is of a sandy nature, which no doubt accounts for the fact that the bones on being exhumed showed no signs of smouldering, notwithstanding the long period which must have elapsed since the body was placed in the earth. The circumstances under which the remains found sepulchre beneath the surface of the public street are of course, a mystery; though the older inhabitants of the town aver that in years gone by similar discoveries were not infrequently made in the vicinity. As is usual on the occasion of finds of this description, many fantastic theories to account for the presence f the skeleton, and conjectures as to the period of its interment, are put forward. The most probable, however, is the suggestion that in the days when cholera played havoc with the population some of its unfortunate victims found hurried burial in the spot where its skeleton has now been accidentally discovered. Certain it is at all events, that the remains must have been in this position for upwards of two score of years, as it is stated the gas pipe under which the ghastly discovery was made has been laid for more than forty years. We are informed that the time the gas main was being laid in Back Lane there were many unearthing of human skeletons.
The remains found on Saturday were taken over by the police who communicated with the Coroner. Dr Cosgrove visited the town on Monday and examined the bones, which were in his opinion those of a man of more than ordinary physique. An inquest was not considered necessary, and the remains were taken in charge by R. O. Carroll who had them re-interred in the workhouse burial grounds.

An article from the Leinster Leader, February 27, 1909 about the discovery of human remains on a lane in Naas during construction work.

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