News 2012

Title: Volume 3 of the Journal of the Irish mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society on sale
Date: 26/03/2012
Volume 3 of the Journal of the Irish mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society on sale

26 March 2012

Introduced by Declan O' Keeffe, Editor

The Irish Mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society was founded in 1998 in order to record and celebrate the achievements of Irish mountaineers and explorers at home and abroad. With this in mind this journal was first published in 2001 in order to encourage new research and scholarship into unexplored areas of this history, as well as to collect information that had already been published in other organs including club journals, national newspapers and Mountaineering Ireland’s own Irish Mountain Log. A cursory glace at the contents shows the array of topics ranging from avalanches in Wicklow to the achievements of the Irish in India by way of Donegal, Kerry, Wicklow, the Alps and Pyrenees, with a brief incursion into the Dominion of Canada.

The Journal of the Irish Mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society attempts to reflect a breadth of activity that cannot be contained by the title. This is a big job that an editor could not accomplish alone and we are very grateful for the many other people who helped this journal see the light of day. Thanks are due most obviously to all those who supplied the articles and photographs that grace the pages of the journal but we would also like to pay tribute to the hidden hands behind the publication. A very special word of thanks is due to Gay Needham. Gay has been one of the unsung heroes of Mountaineering Ireland for more than twenty years, both as a club member and at executive and board level, and she epitomizes the volunteer spirit on which the organization relies. Her creative skills as a designer have often been used in the production of many publications including guide-books, reports and most notably the Mountain Log. Gay single-handedly transformed the Log from a 32 page, black and white A5 newsletter to the colourful, professional production that we have today, and many people don’t realize that she succeeded the late Joss Lynam as editor in 1999. Gay has been involved in the composition of this historical journal since its inception.

Kevin Higgins was a founder member and Chairman of the Irish Mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society and has been a very generous and sage advisor on the composition of this journal as well as supplying a valuable piece of research on the career of yet another Irish Alpinist, Valentine Ryan. We are also very grateful to the editors of the several other publications whose permission was granted to reproduce articles in this journal. Finally thanks are due to Mountaineering Ireland.

The editor of the first two issues, the redoubtable, prolific and much-missed Joss Lynam, one of Ireland’s best-known mountaineers both at home and abroad and a keen climber, hillwalker and orienteer as well as a prolific writer. He was a founder member of the Irish Mountaineering Club, which in turn helped to form the Federation of Mountaineering Clubs in Ireland that became the Mountaineering Council of Ireland and then Mountaineering Ireland of all of which he was an honorary life member. Amongst many other things he was a guidebook editor and author and the founder Irish Mountain Log, which he edited for 21 years (1978-1999). His influence on Irish mountaineering is incalculable and his achievements are too numerous to list here.

Joss was also a founder member of the Irish Mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society and the first editor of this journal. In his second editorial he noted - poignantly in retrospect - that he would ‘definitely not edit a third volume’. In late 2010 I visited Joss and, over a cup of tea, we hatched plans for the revival of the journal and the publication of this third issue. Sadly Joss is no longer here to thumb through the pages of this volume but we trust that he would approve of it and acknowledge that one of his many legacies remains in rude good health. His presence remains, however, in his picture which is the frontispiece, in the two articles of his that open this number and in the tribute paid to him in Paddy O’Leary’s article on Irish mountaineers in India, which notes how Joss ‘excelled in his feel for mountainous country, route-finding and in his overall mountaineering judgement’. Joss was a colleague and good friend to me and others in this room and his contributions are both greatly treasured and sorely missed.

The complexion of this journal and the selection of articles published are a reflection of the submissions received rather than any deliberate editorial policy. We are conscious that mountaineering in all its aspects is better represented than exploration and would encourage more contributions in the latter category so that the balance may be redressed. While the journal is more likely to be published occasionally rather than annually henceforth, we have no intention of allowing another seven years elapse before the publication of the next issue. Accordingly we encourage all would be contributors to submit articles on any aspect of the history of Irish mountaineering and exploration, be they close to home or far away, whether wreathed in the mists of time or benefiting from more recent hindsight.

Finally, we hope that this third volume of the journal will live up to expectations and that it will provide an enjoyable read and an entertaining reminder of the rich and varied history and heritage of Irish mountaineering and exploration.

The Journal can be purchased HERE for €10, including delivery.

Volume 3 of the Journal of the Irish mountaineering and Exploration Historical Society on sale
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