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World’s first guided missile

The world’s first guided missile was invented in the 1870s by an ingenious Irish man, Louis Brennan.  Brennan also invented what is probably the first tilting train and an early  type of helicopter. Brennan’s guided missile was a torpedo steered by wires.  It was designed to defend naval ports and harbours –  not as an […]

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Women in tech — what to do?

The huge success of last month’s Dublin Web Summit helped to focus attention on how few women were participating – less than 10%, and many of those were moderators and not speakers. Trouble is, there’s nothing new about this.   The lack of women speakers at the Web Summit was also commented on in 2012, […]

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10 Free Geeky Things to Do in Dublin

Dublin is famous for her writers and Riverdance, but the city also has a rich geeky past.  Here are 10 highlights and secret Dublin treasures, from amazing fossils to a pioneering diving bell, and even an equation that landed a man on the Moon.  And they are all free! 1. Do the world’s geekiest walk […]

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Up with (Ingenious) women!

Is there something in the air?  Because suddenly — and happily — lots of people are interested in Ireland’s historic women scientists. There is a film in the making about two women from the mid-1800s: science writer Mary Ward, and early photographer Mary, Countess of Rosse.  Ingenious Ireland has been helping SnugBoro Films with the […]

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JD Bernal and the DNA double helix

Watson and Crick would never have discovered the DNA double helix in 1953, if it hadn’t been for an ingenious Irish scientist, who was born on this day 1901.  That scientist was the great JD Bernal, who pioneered the study of the structure of proteins and other complex molecules, and is regarded by many as […]

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The last journey on Dublin’s atmospheric railway

A most unusual train connected Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey for 10 years, until the last journey took place on this day 1854, and the railway closed.  It was the end of an era, and an unusual experiment in railway design.  But you can still follow the route of the train, and still see the Atmospheric […]

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New iPhone app for the Hill of Tara

Now you can follow in the footsteps of High Kings and heroes at Tara, with our new iPhone app. Royal rituals, burials and battles, even sacrificial horses. . . visitors to Tara can now explore the amazing stories of Ireland’s most important historical and archaeological site, with a new iPhone app.   Spanning over 4,000 […]

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Spoiler alert! The shamrock’s a sham

First published in The Irish Times March 15, 2012 You might wear a sprig of ‘shamrock’ this St Patrick’s day — but did you know, there is no such thing as ‘shamrock’? The tradition of wearing shamrock dates back centuries, and the small, three-leafed (or trefoil) plant is famously a symbol of Irishness. Yet,  it’s […]

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When horsemeat was on the menu at Tara!

Forget burgers!  The recent controversy reminds us that, 2,000 years, we were eating horsemeat in Ireland . . . but not just any menu, we’re talking very special occasions: the inauguration feast for a High King at Tara. And how do we know?  Because archaeologists have found the left overs!  Horse bones were discovered at […]

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