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Launch of ‘Karst, Turloughs and Eskers: The Geological Heritage of County Roscommon’.

Back L-R: Pat Murtagh, Roscommon County Council. Cllr. Jimmy Coogan, Dr. Robert Meehan, Co-Author. Dr. Matthew Parkes, Co-Author. Cllr. Liam Callaghan. Dr. Kieran O’Conor, The Heritage Council & NUIG, John Kerrigan, Historian.

The launch took place in the County Library on 27th March of a brand new guidebook ‘Karst, Turloughs and Eskers: The Geological Heritage of County Roscommon’. Written by Dr. Matthew Parkes and Dr. Robert Meehan, two geologists with extensive knowledge of the geology of County Roscommon, the guidebook was commissioned by Roscommon County Council as an action of the County Roscommon Heritage Plan 2012-2016 and the project was funded by the Heritage Council and Roscommon County Council.

Cllr. Martin Connaughton, Mayor performed the launch. Frank Dawson, County Manager along with Beatrice Kelly and Dr. Kieran O’Conor representing the Heritage Council also addressed the attendees at the launch. A short presentation on the geology of the county was given by the authors, Dr. Matthew Parkes and Dr. Robert Meehan.

County Roscommon has a geological diverse landscape with many places treasured by both natives and visitors. The bedrock foundation, with hundreds of millions of years in its formation and shaping, and the more recent history of geomorphological processes such as limestone solution and scouring by glaciers, are what has created that underlying geodiversity. Geological understanding is best achieved on the ground at sites where the rocks and landforms are well displayed. County Roscommon has a wealth of such natural and human influenced sites, particularly of karstic and glacial types. This new guidebook explores them in an accessible way for any reader.  

In Karst, Turloughs and Eskers: The Geological Heritage of County Roscommon, Matthew Parkes and Robert Meehan outline what geology is. They explain the main types of geological feature found in the county — karst, turloughs and eskers. They highlight the best examples of each type of feature, such as Mushroom Rocks in Moyvannan, Castleplunkett Turlough and Castlesampson Esker to name but a few. They give a summary of the geology and a geological timescale for the county. The book concludes with a handy section on finding out more about geology in County Roscommon.   

‘Roscommon County Council is delighted to give a copy of the guidebook to all schools in the county who should get their copy in the coming weeks. We plan to follow this up with an exhibition on the geology of the county and online geology resources’ says Nollaig Feeney, Heritage Officer.

Copies of the guidebook will be available soon in public libraries around the county. Please contact the Heritage Office or Customer Service Desk of Roscommon County Council if you would like a copy of the geology guidebook. Copies can be bought on line from www.rathcroghan.ie/shop .

Any queries please contact Nollaig Feeney, Heritage Officer, Roscommon County Council, 090 6637135 nfeeney@roscommoncoco.ie