Down to Earth
Exploring Ireland’s Geology
This exhibition is running for 18 months at Collins Barracks Museum and celebrates the foundation of the Geological Survey of Ireland 175 years years ago in 1845. The exhibition was scheduled for 2020 but due to the Covid pandemic it is now taking place in 2021/22. One thing I learnt is that one year isn’t even a blink of the eye in terms of geology. Our geology, minerals and rocks are millions of years old.
It is a really clever and interesting exhibition and one not just for the tourists but for ourselves to find out the part our rocks and minerals play in our everyday lives. The exhibition also has a strong focus on climate change and regeneration. Yes, we all know that most of our houses are made with rocks but did you know your toothpaste has minerals in it. There are also no less than 18 minerals used in the making of mobile phones, including Gallium, Dysprosium, Lithium and Cobalt.
The floor map of Ireland gives an exhaustive and detailed account of all the differing rocks throughout the country. One of my favourites is basalt which can be found near the Giants Causeway. This rock has a brooding and slightly menacing appearance but very distinctive.
The exhibition also shows all the work that the Geological Survey of Ireland undertakes such as watching out for tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes. The list is quite endless and must be very fulfilling for all those involved.
There is an interactive display where children can at least think they are piloting a boat out to what looks to be the Skelligs Rock off Co. Kerry. At least the sea looked calmer than when we were there earlier this year on holidays.
As Ireland re-opens and returns to normal it is wonderful to be able to safely go to exhibitions such as this one. Down to Earth shows the practicality of modern life and how we use the earth and geology for our benefit. It also gives the message about the fragility as well as the robust nature of our planet and the need to protect and preserve. This is a superb display of the dedication of those who worked in the Geological Survey over the last 175 years. Well worth a visit.