Famously, there have been gold rushes in California, Alaska, Australia and even Brazil. But, Ireland also had its own gold rush, in 1795, just before the United Irishman rebellion, following the chance discovery of a nugget in County Wicklow.
The Irish Gold Frenzy
Peader McArdle, the recently retired director of the Geological Survey of Ireland, has written ‘Gold Frenzy’ a book which charts the many aspects of the gold rush story in Ireland, in the years before rebellion set Wicklow’s heather blazing.
LISTEN: The Wicklow ‘Gold Frenzy’ —Peader McArdle, author of Gold Frenzy, interviewed on Science Spinning on 103.2 Dublin City FM (broadcast 27th October 2011).
This book is as much about geology as it is about great characters, the use of Ireland’s national resources, and the role of powerful politicians such as Charles Stewart Parnell, whose lands in Avoca lay in the heart of Wicklow gold.
Gold Frenzy is highly recommended and is available from Dubray bookshop in Bray, the Geological Survey of Ireland, and other bookshops. It can also be ordered on line from the Science Spin website store.