A public talk by Dr. Kieran Hickey of NUIG.
March 22nd, 2012 at 8pm in The Angler’s Rest Hotel, Headford.
Dr Kieran Hickey has written a book on ‘Wolves in Ireland: A Natural and Cultural History’, Dublin Four Courts Press. (Copies will be available on the night).
Wolves were a common part of the Irish landscape until 1786 when the last one was shot in Co. Carlow. Wolves had survived longer in Ireland than in any part of Britain. There is substantial evidence for wolves in Ireland include archaeological, place names, , mythology, folklore and documentary data and the existence of the Irish wolf dog. The earliest archaeological data shows that wolves were a feature of the Irish landscape 25,000 years ago. The earliest writing in Ireland from the various monastic annals of the first millennium suggests that the monks were familiar with wolves. This book sets out to tell the story of wolves in Ireland, how long they have been around, where they occurred, how they existed, their relationship with humans and how perceptions of them changed with the arrival of the English in the 1600’s. The new English settlers were horrified to discover that many parts of the country were infested with wolves, as wolves had been eliminated from England prior to AD 1500. The book also plots the extermination of wolves from the Irish landscape and how this was achieved using legislation, bounties, professional wolf hunters and deforestation. Finally the possible uniqueness of the Irish wolf is considered along with the possibility of reintroduction.
Dr. Kieran Hickey is a lecturer in physical geography in the Department of Geography. His previous two books dealt with climate change which is his major area of expertise. These are 2008 Five Minutes to Midnight: Ireland and Climate Change, White Row Press, Belfast and 2010 Deluge: Ireland’s weather disasters, 2009-2010, Dublin, Four Courts Press.
Kieran has published extensively in many other academic journals and chapters in edited books and atlases on many aspects of climate change with a particular interest in Ireland.