Lesser Known Heroes of Ireland

Christina Doerksen is a student at Redeemer University College and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA Service Learning in Galway, Ireland

I get the wonderful opportunity of working with Flirt FM 101.3 while here in Galway. While working I often stumble upon interesting facts researching for my radio show, called Green Vibrations. Including, John Tyndall and Richard Martin, who most people probably have not heard of but they really need to, especially if you are an environmentalist.

This is Flirt FM broadcasting live from DCU along with other schools across Ireland. We were raising money for Barretstown, a camp that works with children living with serious illnesses.

John Tyndall (1820-1893) was born in Lethbridge, County Carlow, Ireland. He was the first scientist to be referred to specifically as a physicist, he discovered why the sky was blue and most notably the first person to prove the Greenhouse Effect. Though the Greenhouse Effect was something that was widely surmised, Tyndall was the first to physically prove it. He did this by studying the abilities of various atmospheric gasses to absorb radiant heat (infrared radiation). He also used his expertise in infrared radiation, to invent a system for measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in exhaled human breath. The basics of Tyndall’s system are still used in hospitals today for monitoring patients under anesthesia.

Richard Martin (1754-1834) was born at Ballynahinch Castle, County Galway and was a prominent politician. However, he is best known for being one of the earliest animal right’s activists. He pioneered the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act, which passed into British Law in 1822. A year after Martin died this act was broadened to include all domestic animals. In 1824 he founded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), now the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in the world! Interestingly enough Martin always denied being the initiator of the RSPCA. Regardless of whether or not he did, Martin can definitely be given credit for starting the movement that led to the founding of the RSPCA.

The world awaits…discover it.

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