Finavarra Field Research Station

The Máirín de Valéra Carron Field Research Facility was established by University College Galway in 1975 as a base for groups involved in research on the Burren. The facility was extensively renovated in 2004, and is now open throughout the year. Its main objective is to provide facilities for research personnel at NUI Galway, visiting parties are also welcome to use the facility.

The Máirín de Valéra Field Research Station in Carron, Co Clare is named in honour of Professor Máirín de Valéra the first Professor of Botany, NUI Galway (1962 – 1977). The Carron Field Station is managed by the Ryan Institute. The primary purpose of the core facility is to facilitate field research in the Burren/North Clare region. The Burren area of North Clare extends some 450 sq. km. Geologically the Burren is a karst landscape. It is possible to study elements of ancient and modern landscape such as field boundaries and settlement patterns. The physiography of the area is ideal for studying erosional and deposition processes.
The area is rich in archaeological remains. Over 60 megalithic tombs have been recorded in the area and several, including the portal tomb in Poulnabrone and the wedge tomb in Gleninsheen, are within a few miles of Carron. There are several hundred ringforts notably 9th century fort of Cahercumaun and the Ballykinvarga fort with its stone cheveaus-de-frise. There are also early church sites including Temple Cronan with its early slab shrines and Kilfenora with 11-12th century high crosses. Botanically the Burren is one of the most interesting areas in Europe. The occurrence, from hilltop to sea level, of Artic-Alpine and Mediterranean species in close association is one of its most remarkable features while the unusual composition of the wetland, the scrub and the limestone heaths with an abundance of plants otherwise rare in Ireland make it an area of great scientific importance. The Carron Field Research Facility is widely used by researcher and student groups from multiple Schools in NUI Galway, and by other NUI Galway units for staff training sessions and away days.
Located on the Flaggy Shore, at the Burren’s water’s edge, at Rine, Co. Clare, the Ryan Institute’s Finavarra Research Station is a field research station for marine and coastal research. The facility caters for visiting researchers, students and academics offering a base for visiting the shore to the South of Galway Bay on fieldwork.