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 Worldwide Acclaim for Staff Member, Caoimhe Hickey! 

  Monica Lee, Brian McMahon & Enda Gallagher

 At a conference held in Croatia in September, a staff member of GSI, Caoimhe Hickey, won a prestigious international prize that recognised her specific scientific expertise. The conference was organised by the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) on Karst*, entitled "Sustainability of the Karst Environment". Caoimhe was joint recipient of the "Young Karst Researcher Prize 2009" prize for her presentation of the excellent research that she has been carrying out in the karstic landscapes of county Roscommon. The IAH is the Worldwide Groundwater Organisation and this award is not only an outstanding personal achievement for Caoimhe, but also promotes her as an expert on Irish Karst in the international hydrogeological community. 2009 has been quite a year for Caoimhe – she was also awarded a PhD by Trinity College Dublin, for her research thesis entitled "Landforms and Hydrology of the Lowland Karst of County Roscommon, Ireland". Well done, on both counts, Dr. Hickey!

 Caoimhe Hickey

* Karst
Karst is the name given to the landforms that develop when rocks are dissolved by water. Half of Ireland is underlain by limestones and their solution by water over millions of years has resulted in many of our most distinctive landscapes, including the Burren ("Burren" meaning stony place) and the north-western plateau areas encompassing Benbulben and the Bricklieve Mountains in Sligo and Cuilcagh and the Marble Arch cave complex and Global Geopark in Fermanagh. (See Geopark item).

Retirements in 2009

John O'Donoghue

A number of staff across different GSI programmes retired over the past few months.

Andy Sleeman, Senior Geologist, retired earlier this year. Andy had been involved for many years with the publication of the 1:100,000 Bedrock County map series and more recently the new 1: 50,000 Bedrock series starting with County Wexford. His work has greatly advanced our knowledge and understanding of the bedrock geology of Ireland. Andy is very well thought of by his colleagues and his work in GSI over many years is greatly appreciated by his peers.

 Andy Sleeman

Clive Murray worked for many years in Central Technical Services, one of four support services in GSI, and retired at the end of September, 2009. Clive was the Chief Technologist and dealt with management of the Core Store, the drilling programme, the vehicle fleet and the lecture theatre. A few years ago a new high-tech Core Store was developed in Sandyford, Co. Dublin which holds a substantial number of cores from around the country and is a testament to Clive’s work. Clive’s contribution to GSI has been invaluable. The fact that Central Technical Services have been run so smoothly and so effectively over the years is down to Clive’s professionalism, work output and dedication to duty.

 Clive Murray

Chris McDonnell was a Senior Laboratory Technician, who also retired at the end of September, 2009. He also worked for many years in GSI. His area of speciality was petrology – the study of the origin, structure and mineralogical and chemical composition of rocks. His knowledge of this subject was considerable. Sadly in today’s financial climate his considerable skills are unlikely to be replaced and this will be a big loss to GSI corporate knowledge.

 Chris McDonnell

Staff Transfer

Dr. Eibhlín Doyle transferred to Exploration and Mining Division in October, 2009. Eibhlín was a member of the Senior Management Team in GSI and had responsibility for the Groundwater and Minerals Programmes as well as strategic surveys. In recent years she has been actively involved in two major studies, the Historic Mines Sites project and Avoca Mines Remediation Study. She took a leading role in many strategic issues in GSI, including its research function, North-South cooperation, and staff training and development. GSI would like to thank Eibhlín for her significant contribution to GSI over many years and to wish her every success and happiness in her new post.

All of these staff worked successfully in GSI and they can be proud of their individual contributions. They enjoyed the respect of their colleagues and will be sorely missed.

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