Mineral extraction in Ireland never reached the same scale of exploitation as some of its neighbours, such as Britain. However mining had an important role and a long history in the country. In many rural and marginal communities mines often provided the only viable alternative to emigration. Today Ireland mines predominantly zinc and lead but until recently the main minerals were copper, iron, lead and silver, as well as some minor minerals such as bauxite and barytes.

While caves fascinate me infinitely more than mines, I am always drawn to the human element that mines offer, as well as the chance to see an entirely different geological stratigraphy other than limestone.

Moll Doyle’s Lead Mine

Co. Wicklow

Coming soon…