Armagh June 2015 - Programme

Excursion and lecture programme:

Friday, 5 June
14.00 h Meet at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Manor House, Loughgall, Co. Armagh. There will be a guided tour of Top Fruit, Biomass, Grass, Potato and Mushroom Research divisions.

Saturday, 6 June
9.30-10.00 Conference registration (registration desk open)

10.00-11.10 Session 1 Climate and farming — local and regional
Jim McAdam, Agri Food and Biosciences Institute. Welcome and Introduction (10 min)

Mark Bailey Armagh Observatory. Armagh Observatory's weather records over more than 200 years: ground truth and implications for climate change?

Mike Baillie Queens University Belfast. Gleanings from the tree ring record about events that may have affected Irish agriculture

11.10-11.30 Tea/coffee

11.30-13.00 Session 2 Flax growing in Ulster and European contexts
Meriel McClatchie University College Dublin. Flax in prehistoric northern Europe: insights from archaeobotany

Jonathan Bell Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The effects of flax cultivation on Ulster farming

Mervyn Watson Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Settlement and farming in County Armagh since 1750

Book launch
Ó Síocháin, Séamas, Slater, Eamonn and Downey, Liam (eds) (2015)
Rundale: settlement, society, and farming.
Ulster Folklife, Volume 58 (c. 128 pp)

13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-14.30 Poster session
Posters are welcomed. please provide details as soon as possible.  See here to submit your poster.

14.30-16.00 Session 3 History of apples, biomass and the grass seed industry

Graeme Cross. College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise. History of apple growing and cider production in Ireland

Malcolm Dawson. Applied Plant Science Division Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland Horticulture and Plant Breeding Loughgall (Retired). Willow cultivation and biomass cropping — the early days

David Johnston. Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute. The grass seed industry in Mid-Ulster

16.00-16.30 Tea/coffee
16.30-17.30 Session 4 Food and books        
Regina Sexton. University College Cork. Toasting the oatcake: an exploration of the use of the hardening stand as a baking utensil

Book launch

Ó Fathartaigh, Mícheál (2015) Irish agriculture nationalised. The dairy disposal company and the making of the modern Irish dairy industry. Institute of Public Administration (IPA), Dublin.

20.00 Conference dinner

Touring the AFBI Orchard with Sean Mac an tSaoir (c) Cliff Mason, AFBI Photo Unit

Sunday, 7th June: Excursion (9.30 h to ca. 16.30 h)
9.30 Depart Armagh City Hotel for Navan Fort (54.344236, -6.701216)
Navan Fort, also known as Emain Macha in Old Irish and Eamhain Mhacha in modern Irish, this very important archaeological site has been the subject of detailed excavations over many years. These and other investigations have revealed much regarding construction and use of this site.

10.00-12.00 Introduction (incl. lecture) and guide to the site by Professor Jim Mallory (QUB), Dr Meriel McClatchie (UCD) and Professor Mike Baillie (QUB)

12.00-12.45 Lunch in the Navan Fort Centre

13.15-15.00 Visit to Bramley Farm: 22 Gallrock Road BT621NP
Guided tour of the orchards and opportunity to sample apple tarts and locally produced apple juice

15.00 (approx) Meetings ends