An Offaly scuba diver has recovered a 3,500-year-old Bronze Age sword from the River Shannon near Banagher.
The remarkable discovery was made by Banagher native Michael O'Rourke yesterday (Wednesday).
Michael, who is a member of the Shannonside Sub Aqua Club in Banagher, stumbled on the important artefact during a routine search and recovery exercise. The medieval relic is believed to be a Bronze Age sword that dates back to 1050 BC.
Michael, who is an experienced diver, said he was over the moon with his discovery. Meanwhile assistant keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum Dr Andy Halpin has described the find as important.
The National Museum of Ireland is currently exhibiting a 1,000-year-old Viking sword that was also found Banagher in 2012 as part of an exhibition to commemorate the Battle of Clontarf at the National Museum of Ireland.
The exhibition runs until the end of December 2014 and will be based in the Museum of Archaeology on Kildare Street, Dublin.