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Climate and society in Ireland

by  James KellyTomás Ó Carragáin
€ 30.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

June 2021


Number of pages: 456

ISBN: 9781911479734


PDF icon Advance Information

Can a long-term perspective on human adaptations to climate change inform Ireland’s response to the crisis we face today?

Climate and Society in Ireland is a collection of essays, commissioned by the Royal Irish Academy, that provides a multi-period, interdisciplinary perspective on one of the most important challenges currently facing humanity. Combining syntheses of existing knowledge with new insights and approaches, contributors explore the varied environmental, climatic and social changes that occurred in Ireland from early prehistory to the early 21st century. The essays in the volume engage with a diversity of pertinent themes, including the impact of climate change on the earliest human settlement of Ireland; weather-related food scarcities during medieval times that led to violence and plague outbreaks; changing representations of weather in poetry written in Ireland between 1600 and 1820; and how Ireland is now on the threshold of taking the radical steps necessary to shed its ‘climate laggard’ status and embark on the road to a post-carbon society.

With contributions by Máire Ní Annracháin, Katharina Becker, David M. Brown, Lucy Collins, Lisa Coyle McClung, Bruce M.S. Campbell, Rosie Everett, Benjamin Gearey, Raymond Gillespie, Seren Griffiths, James Kelly, Francis Ludlow, Meriel McClatchie, Conor Murphy, Simon Noone, Aaron Potito, Gill Plunkett, Phil Stastney, Graeme T. Swindles, John Sweeney, Graeme Warren.

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You can buy the e-book here.

Read the blog series based on the volume and listen to the four-part podcast series where contributors to the book discuss the long view of climate change.


"The authors and editors of these essays have produced an excellent compilation volume. The variety of the themes is only surpassed by the amount of research and data comparison that has been achieved in many of the chapters. I highly recommend the book and I really enjoyed dipping in and out of the variety of material it contains". Peter Coxon, The Holocene Vol. 32 (7), pp. 745-746.

About the authors

James Kelly

James Kelly, MRIA, is Cregan Professor of History, and head of the School of History and Geography at Dublin City University. He was previously head of the History Department at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra. He has written extensively on eighteenth-century Irish history. His publications include Prelude to Unions: Anglo-Irish politics in the 1780s (Cork University Press, 1992); That damn's thing called Honour: Duelling in Ireland, 1570-1860 (Cork University Press, 1995); Henry Flood: patriots and politics in eighteenth-century Ireland (University f Notre Dame Press, 1998); Poynings’ law and the making of Law in Ireland, 1660-1800 (Irish Legal History Society, 2007); Sir Richard Musgrave, 1746-1818,ultra-Protestant  ideologue (Four Courts Press, 2009); Poynings' Law and the making of law in Ireland, 1660-1800 (Dublin, 2006) and Proceedings of the Irish House of Lords, 1771-1800 (3 vols, Dublin, 2008). Clubs and societies in eighteenth century Ireland (edited with M.J. Powell) (Four Courts Press, 2010); Sport in Ireland 1600-1840 (Four Courts Press, 2014), and The proclamations of Ireland, 1660-1820 (5 vols, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2014). He is currently president of the Irish Economic and Social History Society, and a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. He has served as co-editor of Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, section C since 2008.

Tomás Ó Carragáin

Dr Ó Carragáin is a graduate of UCC and the University of York and joined the staff of the Archaeology Department, UCC, in 2002. His research is focused on the archaeology of early medieval Ireland and its European context (c. AD 400-1200). Among other subjects, he has published widely on the archaeology of Christianisation, archaeological approaches to ritual practice including pilgrimage, early medieval architecture and sculpture, the archaeology of territories and boundaries and the relationship between material culture and social memory. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London (FSA).