The Irish Geological Association (IGA) is open to all who are interested in geology in Ireland and beyond. Our members range from professional geologists to beginners of any age. We hold roughly ten lectures a year, usually held in Dublin, with some in Cork and Galway. There are about three weekend field-trips a year and various day trips, and trips abroad. Other events include Members’ nights and the AGM.
From its inception about 50 years ago, the IGA has had a membership that is drawn from many backgrounds. Earth Science students, complete amateurs and qualified geologists all happily join together in the enthusiastic pursuit of geological knowledge, both Irish and global. Over the years, the Universities and The Geological Survey of Ireland have been very supportive in providing venues for lectures, while several Geology related companies have been very generous in providing core funding, which allows the membership fees to be kept at a very reasonable level.
IGA activities include about a dozen lectures a year, on topics as various as “Mineral water vs. tap water”, “Darwin and Robinson Crusoe” (work that one out!), “Will it get hot or cold – and how fast?” and “Mass extinctions – what we can learn from fossil plants”, to name only a very few. Apart from the lectures, about five or six, one or two day, weekend field trips per annum are organised to interesting geological locations around Ireland and previous trips have been to places like “The Copper Coast of Waterford”, “The Carboniferous deltaic deposits of S. Clare”, “The margins of the Wicklow Granite” and “Gold Panning in the Dublin Hills”, again, to name but a few (participation in fieldtrips is entirely at your own risk). The lectures are given and the field trips are lead by qualified geologists, BUT they are pitched to be understood by amateurs. There is no blinding with science! Other recent Irish field trips include one to the Castlecomer coalfields and another to ‘The Mullet’ in Mayo, along with a day field trip to see the amazing folded strata at Loughshinney, North County Dublin.
In the last couple of years, field trips have been organised to interesting geological sites outside Ireland. In 2006 a group went all around Iceland in six days, checking out the amazing volcanics of the ocean floor spreading zone exposed above water. In 2007 a group went to “The Jurassic Coast” of Devon and Dorset, to see the wonderful array of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks and fossils that are abundant there. The 2008 highly successful overseas field trip was to Poland. 2009 anticipates an overseas trip a little closer to home with a tour to the Isle of Man. For 2011 and 2012 trips to Clare island, the island of Mull, and Tenerife are planned.
Once a year, there is at lest one very relaxed ‘Members’ Night’, when all are encouraged to bring in anything geological that’s of interest to them, be it precious specimens or mysterious stones for identification. There is tea, coffee, wine and cheese etc., a short talk on a light topic and general chit-chat.
New members are very welcome at any time and students at any level can join for only €5 per annum, so join up and see Ireland in a very different light.