Nineteenth centure line drawing of a wild potato plant

The Oireachtas Library is displaying a scientific report on experiments to find a cure for potato blight. The report was published in 1847, when blight had been destroying potato crops throughout America and Northern Europe.

Speculation as to the potential causes of the blight included fairies, lightning or a curse brought about by Catholic emancipation. The two theories that came to dominate scientific thought were fungus and excessive moisture from heavy rainfall.

The document is on view in the display case in Leinster House and it marks Science Week 2019.

To find out more, visit the digital exhibition of the documents in the display case.