Published Wednesday, 31 July 2013
It may have to be thrown back into the sea if a row over ownership is not resolved.
The seven-tonne anchor was once used to moor Royal Navy warship to Rathmullan pier, but for 99 years it lay forgotten on the bottom of Lough Swilly - until a local diver found it.
David McGloine brought it to the surface again last month on behalf of the local community.
They want it to go on display as a monument to Rathmullan's maritime history.
"The town has been a maritime town for hundreds of years ," Mr McGloine told UTV.
The town asked me to do it and all permission was got, now this red tape has come on board.
Local diver David McGloine
"The Royal Navy used it as their base during both World Wars and we wanted something just to show people the affiliation we have with the maritime environment and the fact that the Royal Navy was based here."
But raising the anchor has left authorities in the Republic of Ireland all at sea.
The national monuments service in the south are worried it will deteriorate the longer it sits on untreated on the shoreline. David has been told to ask the Royal Navy for what is known as salvage rights to an anchor they had forgotten about.
That means he would be given permission to have it - but a deadline looms, and if the issue cannot be sorted out by midnight the anchor will have to be dumped into the sea on Thursday.
Mr McGloine added: "I'm a bit annoyed that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion because it is only a community project, there was nothing malicious about it and no secret about it."
It's a bureaucratic row which has left locals fuming. They say now that a piece of history has resurfaced they don't want to let it slip away.
Jim Deeney, local historian, said: "Because it's coming up to the anniversary we would like to have it preserved and mounted somewhere, preferably in front of the heritage centre."
Niall Doherty, of the Rathmullen Community Association, added: "We thought we were on to a winner when this came along.
"I and the rest of the people are very disappointed at the moment."
© UTV News