Hayes launches new book on Heritage detailing 68 varieties of Irish apples
Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today formally launched a new book by Dr. Michael Hennerty entitled “The Heritage Apples of Ireland”.
Speaking at today’s launch Minister Hayes said, “This is a wonderful publication and is the first book of its kind to contain both a key and descriptors for the identification of traditional varieties of Irish apples. This book shows the many different varieties of Irish apples and it is remarkable that a small country such as our own has such diversity in the varieties of apples we grow”.
The book is written by Dr. Michael Hennerty, who for many years was Head of the Department of Horticulture in University College Dublin, and provides detailed genetic information of 68 different varieties of indigenous Irish apples using high resolution photographs. The descriptors used in the book utilise the current internationally recognised descriptor system and a key is also included to facilitate the identification of historical Irish cultivars by non-experts.
Funding for the publication was made available through the Department’s Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme. This scheme was established with the aim of conserving and using our indigenous genetic resources for food and agriculture and deals with areas as diverse as animals, forestry, aquatics, micro-organisms and invertebrates and plants. Since the scheme’s inception in 1996, the Department has approved funding in the region of €1.75 million, to approximately 180 projects. The Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme also plays a very important role in ensuring that Ireland meets its various international commitments in the area of conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Minister Hayes concluded by congratulating Dr. Hennerty for his dedication and work on the book by noting that, “The book will be of interest to many and in particular will be an invaluable aid to gardeners and farmers in identifying old traditional varieties of Irish apples”.