Bog Bodies @ Mummy Tombs





Gallagh Man


Background information

Gallagh Man, who died between 400 -200 BC, was discovered  by Irish peat cutters in a bog near Castleblakeney, County Galway in 1821. 

His body, covered with a deerskin cape, was lying on its left side some nine feet below the surface. The cape was fastened at the neck by a band of willow rods, which may have been used to strangle him.  During his burial in the bog, he was pegged to the peat by two wooden stakes on either side. After discovery, his body was reburied, then unearthed repeatedly to show interested parties.

Eventually, according to R. C. Turner, the body was sent to the Royal Dublin Society and then to the Royal Irish Academy where the body was displayed. Gallagh Man, then, became the the first complete bog body ever to be exhibited.

Although he was in "exceptional condition" when he was found, experts at the time decided to let the body dry in order to preserve it. Unfortunately, the body became distorted as it dried and his beard and hair disintegrated. Only a few small pieces of the cape still exist. Today, a similar bog body would not be allowed to dry.





Where to see him

His desiccated body is on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.