Autumn Talks 2019

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

AUTUMN TALKS SERIES 2019

The Plaza Hotel, McShain Suite

Thursdays @ 8.00 PM

We are delighted to once again present our Series of Autumn Talks. Due to the popularity of our talks they will be held this year in The Plaza Hotel, The McShain Suite

24th October

Exception or Exemplar? The Story of The Great Blasket with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide

31st October

Autumn Fungi in Killarney with Tom Harrington

7th November 

The Waterfowl of Lough Lein – Past and Present with Aine O’Sullivan

14th November

Deer in Ireland – Aspects of their Biology, Evolution and Taxonomy with Rory Harrington

21st November 

Close to Nature Forestry – The Way Forward for Irish Forestry with Padraig O Tuama

28th November

The Reintroduction of the White Tailed Eagle to Ireland 2007-2019 with Allen Mee

24th October

Exception or Exemplar? The Story of The Great Blasket with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide

Lorcán Ó Cinnéide is since October 2018 the manager of Ionad an Bhlascaoid / the Blasket Centre in Dún Chaoin and responsible for overseeing the OPW’s landholding on the Great Blasket Island. The Blasket Centre is in operation since 1993 and has become a focal point for sharing the island’s unique heritage with overseas and domestic visitors as well as scholarship related to the Blasket Islands.

Lorcán has had a lifetime of involvement in efforts to conserve and promote the heritage of the Great Blasket Island, through his association with Fondúireacht an Bhlascaoid / the Blasket Island Foundation, a not-for-profit trust established in 1985. His great-grandfather was from the Great Blasket.

Better known publicly for his long-term advocacy for the Irish fishing industry at home and at EU level, Lorcán is a former CEO of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association as well as a current board member of the Irish Marine Institute. He earned a degree in Economics and Political Science at Trinity College Dublin and is a native Irish speaker from the West Kerry Gaeltacht.

Lorcán’s current role combines his interest in the great Blasket with his interest in sustainable cultural tourism development, regional development and promoting linguistic, cultural and built heritage as living resources to the community.

31st October

Autumn Fungi in Killarney with Tom Harrington

Tom Harrington is a native of Killarney. He is a biologist and expert in mycology, the study of mushrooms. Tom is retired from the University of Limerick. He is also a consultant for The National Poisons’ Unit at Beaumont Hospital. They contact him in cases of suspected mushroom poisoning; mainly to help identify the culprit — as it makes all the difference with subsequent treatment.

He states that the greatest concentration of mushrooms is in forests. Also, as mushrooms have a natural symbiosis with trees they help produce nitrogen and oxygen for the trees while the trees, in turn, give proteins to the mushrooms.”

Looking at wild fungi and collecting edible fungi has become very popular in recent years in Ireland. There is virtually no tradition of collecting for the table here, as there is in mainland Europe, so getting to know the good edible fungi and avoiding the poisonous ones, is not that straightforward.

It is essential to get a good field guide and preferably get some field experience from somebody who knows their fungi. There are at least 2,500 kinds (species), of larger fungi in Ireland.

7th November 

The Waterfowl of Lough Lein – Past and Present with Aine O’Sullivan

1976 to 1979   – Aine worked as Research Biologist, employed by Zoology Dept UCD-  on the Second Killarney Valley Project 1976 to 1979- a joint biological/engineering project -I was monitoring the lake Water Quality of Lough Leane using both Chemical and Biological parameters while an engineer was working in Killarney Town Sewage Treatment Plant-doing P removal

1979 to 1982 – Worked as a Research Biologist, on The Lower Lake Killarney, employed jointly by The National Parks and Wildlife Service, The National Board for Science and Technology and Kerry County Council

  1. Study the Ecology of the Waterfowl on LLeane including Breeding Ecology Spatial and Temporal use of the lake by waterfowl, Dispersion of Waterfowl on/ from LLeane
  2. Phosphorus budget for LLeane- sampling all inflows and the outflowing River Laune
  3. Relationship between flow rate and Phosphorus concentrations in the Deenagh River -flood flow relationship with phosphorus level
  4. Set upand monitoring of Muckross House SewageTreatment Plant

1982 to 2008

Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer Inland Fisheries Ireland-in the functional area of the former Northern Regional Fisheries Board – ie Counties Donegal, part of Sligo and Leitrim  and the Erne River Catchment , including parts of  Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and Longford

Currrently-Volunteer in Killarney National Park working with the Conservation Rangers on Waterfowl of L Leane

Qualifications

BSc – 1975 – UCD (NUI) – Zoology(major) Biochemistry(minor subject)

MSc – 1979 – UCD (NUI) – Freshwater Biology – Relationship between Littoral macroinvertebrate Fauna on LLeane Co Kerry and Lake Water Quality / Chemistry

PhD -1994 – UCD(NUI) – Freshwater Ecology/The Ecology of the Waterfowl on Lough Leane, Co Kerry

14th November

Deer in Ireland – Aspects of their Biology, Evolution and Taxonomy with Rory Harrington

Rory Harrington is a graduate of University College Dublin, Ireland and Yale University, USA. He is currently senior scientist with VESI Environmental Ltd., Cork. Previously he was Senior Resident Engineer with Waterford County Council, having formally retired as Senior Scientist at the Department of Environment. Earlier he had been Divisional Manager at the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

His formal education has been in; agriculture, forestry, economics and social aspects of land use, conservation genetics, and ecosystem function. His diverse research and experience includes; conservation genetics and ecosystem science.

Over the past 30 years he pioneered what has become known as the ‘Integrated Constructed Wetland’ (ICW) concept, which is increasingly used to sustainably treat a wide range of polluted water sources including: municipal waste water, landfill, animal and industrial wastewater, farmyard soiled water and diffuse sources from land and urban environments.

Evidenced by cave, midden and excavation, Ireland appears to have had only one deer species that can be considered naturally contemporaneous with human occupation; reindeer (Rangifer tarandus. L); an animal of arctic and sub-arctic habitats. The main current deer species found in Ireland; Red deer, Japanese/red x sika deer and fallow deer were introduced by humans from Britain. The presentation will explain, through 50 years of enquiry and experimental research how deer may have evolved and how their evolutionary paths may have parallels with other plant and animal groups, including that of humans and their evolution.

Aspects of the comparative biology of deer, including their genetics and reproduction, habitat use/diet/digestion, chromosomal structure, reproduction and longevity will be presented that provide insights reflecting fundamental adaptations in how they exploit their environment.

21st November 

Close to Nature Forestry – The Way Forward for Irish Forestry with Padraig O Tuama

Padraig O’Tuama is presently working as Private Forestry Consultant since 2017. He previously worked for Coillte for 37 years starting as forest worker from 1978 to 1980 before he entered the Department of Forestry Forester training College where he completed his Diploma in Science (Forest Management) in 1983.

He worked as Forester in various forests in Wicklow, Limerick and Tipperary from 1985 to 2006, as District Manager in the South-western Peninsulas District from 2006 to 2012 and held a national brief as Forest Productivity Manager from 2012 to 2017.

He has been a member of ProSilva Ireland since 2004, chairperson of ProSilva Ireland from 2009-2016 and secretary to ProSilva Europe Executive Board from 2017 to date.

He has put in place training courses in CCF in broadleaves and in conifers, has recently put in place new tools for training in CCF.

Padraig has been involved in research into CCF through COFORD Low Impact Silvicultural Systems project and in the establishment of seven AFI research plots in throughout Ireland.

28th November

The Reintroduction of the White Tailed Eagle to Ireland 2007-2019 with Allen Mee

Allan Mee, is a native of Co Limerick having worked on birds and especially birds of prey in Scotland, USA and Ireland for some 30 years. Most of his early raptor work in Scotland centred on monitoring, nest protection and research on golden eagles, osprey with the Royal Society for the protection of Birds.

After completing PhD studies he carried out post-doctoral research on the wild-breeding population of re-introduced California condors for the Zoological Society of San Diego (2001-2006) as part of the on-going recovery program for the species.

Also Allan co-authored a book, “California condors in the 21st Century”. In 2007, he returned to Ireland to manage a re-introduction program for white-tailed eagles in collaboration with Norwegian and Irish colleagues.