Upcoming event: The Looney Map of Tipperary, Thurles, 25 April 2023

On 25 April 2023 at 7pm in the Source Library, Thurles, Dr Catherine Porter, Head of Geography at UL, will discuss her research on the Looney Map.

In 2013, the family of Timothy Looney, County Tipperary, donated his lifetime collection of archival material to UL. Now expertly catalogued and extant in Special Collections and Archives, Glucksman Library, the Timothy Looney Papers are rich with manuscript and printed material including photographs, books, documents and cartography detailing the histories of the Counties Tipperary and Cork.

Amongst the Papers is one large and intriguing linen-backed map (Figure 1) measuring approximately 170 cms by 266 cms, comprised of nine smaller sections (approximately 56.5cms by 88.5 cms), part of a wider collection salvaged by Looney from the demolition of Shanbally Castle in March 1960. Drawn ‘By a Scale of two Inches in one Irish Mile’, the discreetly coloured cartography depicts the Tipperary landscape at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Natural features such as rivers, loughs, bogs and mountains are marked alongside the built environment and local heritage including buildings, roads and laneways. Whilst the provenance of the ‘Looney Map’ is unknown, it is estimated to date from c1800-1815, placing it in a pre-Ordnance Survey (OS) timeframe. The estimated dating further emphasises the map’s significance given County Tipperary never had a printed Grand Jury map.

To aid investigation and dissemination of the map, funding was awarded to UL Geography staff by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, UL, to construct a public-facing, interactive online resource using the ESRI ArcGISTM platform. Continue reading about Dr Catherine Porter’s research into the Looney Map here.

For more details on the event hosted by Tipperary Studies, click here.