Event: Irish Food Products – A Historical Perspective, AGSI & IEHN, Kilkenny, 14 – 5 Jun 2013

Irish Food Products – A Historical Perspective,

14th – 15th June 2013

The Agricultural History Society of Ireland and Irish Environmental History Network are pleased to announce a joint conference to be held in Hotel Kilkenny from 14-15 June, 2013.

The conference theme will be “Irish Food Products – A Historical Perspective”.

 In the 1960s, A. T. Lucas, former Director of the National Museum, stated that “… from prehistory to the close of the 17th century, corn and milk were the mainstay of the national food.” The conference will bring to bear perspectives from archaeology, history, folklore, palaeoecology, geochemistry and archaeobotany, to review the basis for Lucas’s proposition, and whether it is still seen to be broadly correct.

A preliminary programme and registration details, are given below.

All are welcome.

FRIDAY 14th June: 15.00-19.00

Registration/tea and coffee: 14.00-15.00

Liam Downey (University College Dublin) and Ingelise Stuijts (The Discovery Programme)
Introduction lecture ‘Overview of current knowledge’

Session 1: 
Dairy products

David Dickson (Trinity College Dublin): Dairy products in former times

Jessica Smyth (Bristol University): The origins of dairying in Ireland

Patricia Lysaght (University College Dublin): Folklore associated with food products in Ireland

Dinner 20.00-22.00 hrs

SATURDAY 15th June: 9.00-15.00

Session 2: Cereal products

Michael O’Connell (NUI Galway): Cereal production in ancient Ireland: evidence from the fossil pollen records

Susan Lyons (University College Cork)/Meriel McClatchie (University College Dublin): Cereal production in past and nutrition value

Mick Monk (University College Cork): From field to food in Ireland’s past: the processing and nutritional value of cereals with particular reference to oats

Session 3: Meat products

Finbar McCormick (Queen’s University Belfast): Archaeological evidence for meat consumption

Regina Sexton (University College Cork): Meat products in former times

Fiona Beglane (Sligo IT): Archaeological evidence of meat use and its nutritional values

Niamh Daly (University College Cork)/Jacqueline Cahill Wilson (Discovery Programme): Application of geochemistry: Isotope analyses using Strontium, Oxygen, Carbon and Nitrogen

Closing session

Colin Rynne (University College Cork): Industrial archaeology with particular regard to brewing and distilling

Lunch: 14.00-15.00


St Francis Abbey Brewery, Parliament Street, Kilkenny: 15.30-17.00 hrs

Conference Costs (including tea/coffee and lunch on Saturday): Non-members: €60 // Members: €50 // Students: €30 // Optional: Conference dinner 14th June €30 in Hotel Kilkenny // Optional: Excursion costs: €8


Hotel Kilkenny offers a special rate for conference delegates (available until 14th May)

o    Friday 14th June: €70 (single) €100 (double/twin) including breakfast

o    Saturday 15th June: €70 (single) €100 (double/twin) including breakfast

OR €120 if taking a 2 night stay in a single room

To register – contact [aghistoryireland@gmail.com] or send details to

Eoin Flaherty, 2.09 Iontas, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare


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