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'Historical Irish Dairy Products' Book Launch

Event Time 4pm - 5pm
Venue Online
Official launch of 'Historical Irish Dairy Products' by Dara Downey, Liam Downey and Derry O'Donovan.

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Pictured at a signing of the new book were (L-R) Director of Teagasc, Prof. Frank O'Mara and former Directors of Teagasc, Dr. Liam Downey and Prof. Gerry Boyle.

You are cordially invited to the virtual launch of a new book that presents a chronological perspective of the evolution of dairy products in Ireland. It draws together information spread across a diverse range of historical, archaeological, economic and scientific publications and it aims to provide a platform that may be used in reviewing the current state of knowledge, and identifying notable gaps pertaining to the development of dairy products from prehistory, through the medieval period, and on into recent centuries.

Book Orders

You can order your copy of Historical Irish Dairy Products directly from Wordwell.

Order Here




Summary of Historical Irish Dairy Products

This new book – Historical Irish Dairy Products – just published, traces from earliest times the historical-cultural heritage of Irish dairy products. Butter has been made in Ireland for over four thousand years and it can be said to be Ireland’s oldest food product. The book, co-authored by Dara Downey, Liam Downey, and Derry O’Donovan, chronologically documents the evolution and development of Ireland’s premier dairy products. It focuses on butter and cheese in particular, from pre history through medieval times and on into recent centuries. It highlights technological advances such as salt preservation and the iconic cream separator which underpinned the production of our dairy products in recent centuries.

This book comprises ten stand-alone chapters, including:

  • Prehistoric butter
  • Butter making over the centuries
  • Cheese making
  • Public butter markets
  • The creamery system
  • Food research and product development.

The book presents an integrated account of Ireland’s long-standing history in dairy products, and it documents a number of important research initiatives and commercial developments that underpinned the global success of the Irish dairy industry in recent decades. It describes salt and sugar manufacture and their use in food preservation. It also charts the institutional framework, especially the public butter markets in the 19th century (such as in Cork and Tipperary), and the emergence of the creamery system, in particular the co-operative movement as the main driver of change in the 20th century.

The book presents an opportunity for Ireland to capitalise on its historical-cultural heritage of butter and cheese based on the authentic story outlined in this book. It is is a must for all those involved in the dairy industry, including farmers, processors, and dairy marketeers and will make a wonderful Christmas gift to all of the aforementioned and the many retired creamery managers who played a major role in building Ireland’s greatest rural industry.