Maurice’s new book celebrates life of John Clarke

17 09 2012

Moyle SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge were amongst  a large crowd who attended the launch of a new book “John Clarke: A Potato Wizard” by local historian Maurice McHenry, in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.

The book explores the life and achievements of the pioneering North Antrim potato breeder John Clarke.

Clarke understood the principles of the emerging science of genetics and applied them to the breeding of potatoes. “A talented botanist, Clarke developed 33 certified varieties, the vast majority of which have the prefix Ulster in their name, and was a key figure in the struggle to breed varieties which were more resistant to potato blight.

“As well as being good scientist, Clarke had a natural flair for selecting the best seedlings.”

Clarke’s achievements earned him an international reputation as a highly successful potato breeder.

 Mr McHenry’s book will ensure that Clarke is remembered and celebrated. Moreover, it fills a major gap in our agricultural and scientific history.