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Index of Gormanston Related Pages on this Web Site and Others

Gormanston Aims
Gormanston Summer School
Gormanston College
Gormanston for First Timers

Gormanston 2000
Gormanston 2001
Gormanston 2002
2002 Programme
Gormanston 2003
Gormanston 2004
2004 Programme
Gormanston 2005
2005 Programme
Gormanston 2006
2006 Programme
2006 Brochure
Gormanston 2007
2007 Programme
2007 Brochure
Gormanston 2008
2008 Programme
2008 Brochure
Gormanston 2009
2009 Brochure
Gormanston 2015
Chris Slade Article
How Was It For You ?
Gormanston On Parade
Claire Chavasse Article
David Blackwood Article
Gormanston Cock Tavern
Gormanston Tweezer
Brian P. Dennis Article

The 2019 FIBKA Summer School was the last one at Gormanston. COVID prevented the 2020/21 from taking place. The decision was taken to reduce the length of the 2022 Summer School and have it at Maynooth University as a weekend event. I am unsure if Gormanston will be resurrected or not, but I will leave all the pages as a record.

The contents of this page have been greatly modified and edited since Dave Cushman last updated it. There are several gaps and I will try to fill them in when I have the information. To avoid cluttering up the "A-Z Index" I have put all Gormanston related pages here. Roger Patterson

This page of links to FIBKA Gormanston Summer School gives an indication of the content of this week of beekeeping education. Dave Cushman was very enthusiastic about this annual event, which really does have to be visited before you can fully understand it's importance in the beekeeping calendar.

It has been run every year since 1947 and is a reflection of the high standards of lecturers and demonstrators there are in Ireland. They don't just use their own, but have a fair number from elsewhere, including one guest speaker.

Not everything is to everyone's taste, but that doesn't matter because there is so much available at any one time. This is the sort of event that could be supported by a group of beekeepers, perhaps from one BKA.

Inside the yew walk, Photo... Chris Slade 2005

The creation of this index also provides me with a place that I can lodge some additional photographs that have not been included in the various previous year's reports.

The links at left include some that are not on the "A-Z Bee Index" text links and for tidiness have been rearranged. Most of the photos are attributed to those who took them, but if I have missed any, please tell me by Email and I will correct the matter. The 2002 programme was assemble retrospectively from file fragments found in Internet archives. The 2004 programme was also retrospectively put together, using a file from the original irishbeekeeping.ie web site that I had saved on my computer.

The outside of the yew walk is visible in many of the existing pictures, this one by Chris Slade shows what it is like from the inside.

Although the Gormanston course is a beekeeping summer school, there is plenty for non beekeepers to do. There is a wide range of facilities in the College which are available free of charge to the families of those attending the Summer School, including a well appointed swimming pool, squash courts, handball and tennis and a private 9 hole golf course. There is also a running track, but recently this has fallen into disrepair. There are many acres of parkland available to walk in and enjoy.

Gormanston beach is about a mile from the college and I understand that there are fishing facilities for those that wish to pursue the sport of angling.

On rare occasions there are some unusual loud noises from the Air Gunnery school, but on the occasions that this has happened while I have been there, it has never caused any problems. When the gunnery school is in session there are a number of army guys in the pubs that may make them a little busier than usual.

If you can arrange to bring a bicycle there are many interesting places within easy reach. Balbriggan and Drogheda are easy targets for cyclists and I believe there is an internet cafe in Drogheda, if you wish to catch up on your Email.
Apimondia 2005, in Dublin, was organised by many of the same people that put the Gormanston Summer School together, but although enjoyable in it's own right, it had only a fraction of the impact and enjoyment that can be had from the Gormanston event. So if you have been to an Apimondia conference, but have not yet sampled the delights of Gormanston, you can expect a greater emphasis on meeting friends and attending lectures, however there is no exhibition involved in the summer school, although supplies of beekeeping equipment can be purchased on site.
David Blackwood's article has also appeared in 'An Beachaire' (The Irish Beekeeper) magazine and is re-printed here with his permission.

Anette Remez on Gormanston beach, Photo... Chris Slade 2006

Chris Slade is more able to walk than I and has visited Gormanston beach several times... In 2006 he shared his stroll with Annette, who he has pictured here.

If you like walking there are many pleasant scenes in and around Gormanston. The grounds of the college are extensive and the pace of life is slow and dignified.

There is a very tranquil place, it is a small private cemetery where the monks from the Franciscan order are buried. I believe that it is possible to walk to this cemetery using the yew walk or cloister shown further up the page. The photo below is due to Richie Moran.

Franciscan Cemetery at Gormanston, Photo... Richie Moran 2006

While composing this page I have realised that I have quite a number of photographs taken in and around Gormanston and have decided to add yet another page to this collection entitled Gormanston Summer School, in order to display them and say a little more about the place in general terms as opposed to reports on the annual gatherings.

The Cock Tavern at Gormanston, Photo... Richie Moran 2006

The Huntsman Inn at Gormanston, Photo... Richie Moran 2006 There are two pubs at Gormanston, they are both situated at the cross roads which is known as 'Gormanston cross' which is the term the bus drivers will recognise. The picture above shows the frontage of the Cock Tavern and is the one that I normally frequent when I am at Gormanston. The other pub is the 'Huntsman Inn' and is probably more used by beekeepers as it is the nearest pub to the college.

Whichever pub you choose, you will be made welcome... I recommend bottled Guinness from pint sized bottles that have been kept on the 'cold shelf', but a wide variety of other drinks are available. I only visit Gormanston for a week each year, but I am recognised by the staff in the pub, almost as much as by the staff at the college.

Food is served at both pubs, but you are unlikely to need these services unless you miss one of the college meals, which are excellent, but are served on a fairly strict timetable.

Traditional Irish music is a common feature in Irish pubs and Gormanston is no exception, however if amplification is used it can be a little on the loud side, but 'unplugged' instruments will never offend your ears.

Philip Denwood, Richard Jackman and Michael Collier, Photo... Richie Moran 2006 Another shot from the camera of Richie Moran, shows three BIBBA members relaxing in the sun. They are... From left to right, Philip Denwood, Richard Jackman and Michael Collier.

2006 was a year that BIBBA had a very strong presence at the Gormanston summer course as they put on several workshops about queen rearing, grafting and the use of mating nucs.

John Getty behind an excess of bottles, Photo... Chris Slade 2005 In this picture, Chris Slade tries to indicate that we drink too much when at the FIBKA Summer school, but although plenty of Guinness is removed from bottles and even the inferior draught type Guinness is imbibed, there is no drunkenness or improper behaviour. In fact in the years that I have attended, I have only ever seen one man drunk, which is not a bad record for a large bunch of beekeepers having a conference away from their families for a week.

Attendance of pubs is entirely optional and there are coffee facilities in the evening within the college... Having never made use of them myself, I am unsure at what time they close. By the time those of us that have been to the pub return to the college, the order of the day is quietness, when we are let in by the night watchman.

I may have given the impression in this article and others, that we drink to excess, maybe I do have a few more in the Cock Tavern than I would normally drink, but it is all part of the exuberance of sharing such a magnificent occasion with so many beekeeping friends.

Dave Cushman lecturing, photo... David Blackwood. There are not many pictures of myself among the Gormanston pages, even though I am a 'larger than life' sort of chap. So I include here a photo of myself in full flight during a workshop presentation at the 2006 summer school. David Blackwood at 2005 National Honey Show, Photo... Dave Cushman.

The image was captured by David Blackwood (small inset) and I have added an article that he wrote about his first visit to the 2006 summer course in 2006, to the index above left.

Originally written by Dave Cushman. Edited by Roger Patterson.

Page created pre-2011

Page updated 25/11/2022