A new map of Ireland classifies and displays the diverse range of soil types that exist across the island.

Ireland now has an accurate and reliable record of soil resources, in the form of a map, thanks to work by An Foras Talúntais, the national agricultural institute.

At the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin Ireland’s first ever soil map was presented to the Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Neil Blaney TD (Teachta Dála) by Tadgh Twomey, Chairman of the Council of An Foras Talúntais.

The map has been prepared by the staff of the National Soil Survey in An Foras Talúntais, who for the last ten years have been compiling and studying soil samples from the twenty six counties, in addition to information available to them prior to 1959.

They also worked in cooperation with soil scientists from the Ministry of Agriculture in Belfast on the soils in Northern Ireland, so that the entire island of Ireland could be represented.

Michael J Gardiner from the National Soil Survey explains that the map has three main uses. The first is of scientific and educational value,

It will be used in teaching of such subjects as agricultural science, geography, other subjects in schools.

The second is that classification of the soils makes them available for scientific study and research both in Ireland and at an international level.

The third is that there now exists an inventory of Ireland’s soil resources. For the first time farmers and government bodies will have access to reliable information on land-use planning and will facilitate

Regional development plans based on a realistic assessment of the type of land which occurs in any area.

Another finding from the project is that thirty per cent of Ireland’s land has been identified as having a limited range of uses.

Part of the footage shown here is mute.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 August 1969. The reporter is Pat Sweeney.