Developing Rural Ireland - A History of the Irish Agricultural Advisory Services
A new book that documents the history of the Irish agricultural advisory services and its role in developing rural Ireland, was launched at a virtual event at Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, yesterday, Wednesday 1 September.
Developing Rural Ireland - A History of the Irish Agricultural Advisory Services was written by Dr. Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh, and was officially launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.
A wonderful insight
Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue said; “This book is a wonderful insight into the history of rural Ireland, agriculture and farming. For much of our history, Rural Ireland was underdeveloped compared to many of our industrialised neighbours, but this changed, with agriculture going through a series of evolutions and revolutions. In just 100 years, Irish agriculture changed and is leading the world in a dynamic and ambitious way. Central to this development was the advent of the advisory services in Ireland.”
Author: Dr. Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh
The books author, Dr. Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh said; “For most of modern history, rural Ireland and Irish agriculture were comparatively underdeveloped but this changed dramatically in the twentieth century. In 1900, rural Ireland and Irish agriculture were synonymous with poverty, but by 2000 they had become identified with progress.”
Dr. Ó Fathartaigh continued: “Many people and organisations contributed to this progress, but chief among these were the Irish agricultural advisory services. With their establishment, agricultural instructors, trained to the highest international standards, were dispatched to every community in rural Ireland. Their brief was to work with farmers helping them to improve their farm enterprises, and in doing so, to develop rural Ireland. This gradually bore fruit as each succeeding generation of agricultural advisors and farmers co-operated to adopt the most modern agricultural approaches.”
This book, Developing Rural Ireland - A History of the Irish Agricultural Advisory Services, by Dr. Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh, tells their story
In addition it relates it to the wider national and international historical narratives of the twentieth century making it fully accessible both to those who know rural Ireland and to those who do not.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director, said; “when the advisory services were established as part of the Department of Agriculture of the time, the memory of the famine framed its establishment. Food security is still a preoccupation of so many governments around the world today.”
He said; “What emerges clearly from the book, is the public good role of the advisory services throughout its 120 years. There are so many occasions in its history, that if the advisory service didn’t exist, it would have had to be created.”
Copies of Developing Rural Ireland - A History of the Irish Agricultural Advisory Services, are available for purchase from the publisher's website Wordwell Books.