NYU student, McKenna McFadden, recently discovered a 12th-century kite brooch during an excursion with NYU’s Summer in Dublin Program. Led by renowned archaeologist, Michael Gibbons, students explored Omey Island in county Galway, where McFadden spotted the brooch.
McFadden was looking at some rabbit burrows with a friend when she happened to spot the brooch poking out of the sand. Not realizing just how old it was, she held onto it until she could catch up with Gibbons, who was intrigued and walked with her back to where she had found it. The brooch would have traditionally been worn to affix a cloak or shawl in place.
McFadden said about her find, “I didn’t fully realize how important the find was at the time. Now, I’m amazed and surprised and I’m very happy that I was able to place it in the hands of people who would appreciate it.”
The piece was donated to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin a few weeks later, and a short ceremony was given in thanks to McFadden and to NYU.