At Ireland Calling we like to look beyond the silly stereotypes of yesteryear and write about the real Ireland.
The cartoonish clichés and stereotypes are a thing of the past and certainly not part of the identity of the modern country of today.
So it is with a bittersweet irony that we report that it could actually be possible to find gold at the end of a rainbow – if the rainbow originates by a south eastern river that is.
This is because the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) have recently tested areas with modern technology and found evidence to suggest that there could be far more precious metals in the south east of the country than we previously realised.
A statement from the GSI said: “There is more platinum, gold and precious metals in the streams and rivers of the south east of Ireland than previously believed.
“The most notable levels of platinum are found mainly in the area to the southeast of the towns of Aughrim and Tinahely on the Wicklow-Wexford border.”
Platinum has several uses and can be found in products ranging from cars to jewellery to electronic equipment.
The tests also revealed that there was more gold in certain areas than had previously been recorded.
The statement continued: “As well as reconfirming high levels of gold in streams near the Goldmines River and Avoca regions of Wicklow, the new data identifies high gold values in streams that flow across and along the edges of the Leinster granite, a complex area long thought to be a source for the gold mineralisation in the region.
“The recently re-analysed data . . . also highlights a broad zone of gold in Co Wicklow, north of the Sugar Loaf region where only small traces of the precious metal have been found previously.”
The GSI hope that the findings will encourage mineral exploration companies to invest in Ireland.
GSI director Koen Verbruggen said: “The industry is currently suffering from a major global downturn due to low commodity prices, which coupled with a scarcity of recent economically significant discoveries, has seen Ireland’s indigenous production of metals retreat with the closure of a number of mines.”
The discovery could lead to jobs being created in rural areas and could be a real boost to the mineral exploration industry, which already provides a significant contribution to Ireland’s economy every year, according to Conroy Gold and Natural Resources chairman Richard Conroy.
Conroy told the Irish Independent: “It won’t spark a gold rush but it will encourage local and international companies to look at Ireland with more interest.
“You could be looking at immediate employment of between 200 and 300, and up to 1,000, within the next decade for one significant discovery.
“I don’t think we’re the new Yukon, but people don’t realise the hundreds of people employed in mining and spin-off industries.”