Trinity exhibition honours West Cork botanist

Ellen Hutchins: Letters, specimens and drawings of seaweed in the exhibition at Trinity.

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Ellen Hutchins of Ballylickey (1785 – 1815), Ireland’s first female botanist, is being celebrated by an exhibition in Trinity College Dublin, hosted by the Botany Department there. Spectacular seaweed specimens, collected by Ellen in Bantry Bay over 200 years ago, are being displayed for the first time, alongside letters written by Ellen to botanist James Townsend Mackay of Trinity. Some of the letters still contain tiny scraps of seaweeds that Ellen folded into pieces of paper inside them. There are also some wonderful full size specimens that have kept their colour incredibly well; it takes real skill to layout a specimen carefully, as was discovered by participants of the Seaweed Event on Whiddy Island during the 2016 Ellen Hutchins Festival.

The Hutchins family has also lent Trinity letters that Ellen wrote to her brothers about her study of plants. Transcripts of the letters are available that tell the story of Ellen, a remarkable young woman who in just eight years of botanising, before her early death aged 29, discovered many new species of seaweeds, lichens, mosses and liverworts.

Trinity College Dublin played an important part in Ellen’s botanical studies, although it was a time long before women were able to attend universities. Dr Whitley Stokes, Professor of Medicine of Trinity and a family friend, suggested to Ellen that she take up the study of botany (his interest) as a healthy outdoor occupation, one that also provided indoor activity with identifying, preserving and drawing the plants found. James Townsend Mackay, in charge of the Trinity Botanic Garden, visited Ellen in Ballylickey in 1805 and suggested that she study seaweeds. Ellen sent her specimens to Mackay and he posted them onto the relevant botanists, making Ellen part of the specialist botanical community studying non flowering plants, known as cryptogams.

The Trinity exhibition has been put together by the Ellen Hutchins Festival, with the Botany Department of Trinity, for the staff and students of the School of Natural Sciences. Included are information panels telling Ellen’s story and prints of some of her beautifully detailed and accurate drawings of seaweeds. The exhibition is relevant to all those interested in West Cork people, heritage, the history of women in science, botany and botanical art.

There are free public Open Sessions on the last Thursday of each month (March 30 and April 27), 5pm to 6.30pm, when members of the Ellen Hutchins Festival team will be on hand.  See the website for more information and directions to find the old Anatomy Building where the exhibition is being held. www.ellenhutchins.com.

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

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18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

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