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Dundalk is a beautiful place. The bay and harbour sweep in from the Irish Sea, overlooked by the south-facing slopes of the Cooley Mountains, Black Mountain and Slieve Gullien. Castletown-Dundalk nestles in a sheltered spot on the ancient Gap of the North/Great North Road (roughly the present N1), controlling a port and a fertile, rolling hinterland. This area is immensely rich regarding archaeological sites and the land is steeped in legends of Cú Chullain, Fin MacCool and the Cattle Raid of Cooley (Taín Bó Cúailnge), as well as medieval conflict such as the Battle of Faughart, which ended the Bruce invasions in AD 1318. The M1 Dundalk Western Bypass is part of the northern end of the M1 motorway, which currently comes from Dublin Airport and will soon reach the border with Northern Ireland at County Armagh, before continuing to Newry. The advance archaeological works were commissioned by Louth County Council and the NRA, and the main construction works were undertaken by Celtic Roads Group Dundalk Limited. The bypass is approximately 9.4 km long, comprising 85 ha of green field land, arcing about 3 km around the western side of Dundalk (Illus. 1).