UNH Animal Science Department brings folk singer for "Ireland class"

By Ken Johnson
On April 11, 2014

The Animal Science Department is bringing Irish folk singer Aoife Clancy to the University of New Hampshire on Tuesday. From Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary, Ireland, Clancy is the daughter of Bobby Clancy, one of the members of The Clancy Brothers, an Irish folk group that was popular in the 1960s

Clancy is being brought to UNH as part of the Animal Science Department class Integration of Culture and Agriculture in Ireland: Past, Present, and Future, commonly referred to as the Ireland class by current and past students who have taken the course. This is the second year that Clancy has played at UNH for the Ireland course and the UNH community.

Song and history-telling is a large part of the Irish culture, Ashley Wood, a senior nutrition and wellness major who is currently taking the Ireland class, said. "I'm excited to see someone who is well renown in this area sing," Wood said.

"Aoife Clancy's performance was amazing, I didn't realize how intricate Irish music was," Galina Kinsella, a junior who took the class last year, said.

"The important areas of Ireland are agriculture, religion and politics. To understand agriculture, you have to understand the other two," Dr. Patty Bedker, associate professor of animal and nutritional science in the department of Biological Sciences and professor of the Ireland course, said. 

"I loved the class, it was really hands-on. I learned a lot more about Ireland than I even expected to," Kinsella said.

This is the fourth year that the Ireland course has been offered at UNH. This year, 60 students applied for the course and 25 students were accepted. The Ireland course meets once a week for a semester for two hours and then culminates with a 10-day trip for the students to Ireland. The course syllabus states, "Throughout the semester, the class will focus on the cultural, economic and historical aspects of Ireland.

"While in Ireland, the class will delve into the agricultural areas including animal, land management and agri-tourism, as well as visiting historical and cultural landmarks," the syllabus continues.

The trip to Ireland will include stops at Connemara Pony, beef, sheep, dairy and cereal farms and the class will visit the Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Trinity College, the Moyglare Stud and Blarney Castle among others.

Wood described her excitement her excitement for the upcoming trip to Ireland, saying "Just in general to go somewhere new and to be humbled by the experience of how other people live and the beauty of it."

"Patty is an amazing teacher," Wood said. "She not only is able to challenge the class with putting yourself in the shoes of the Irish people and learning about their history, but she is just so fun and respectful of the students that if anyone gets the chance to take this course or interview for it, they should try because any kind of experience like this is really profound and it will help shape you for the rest of your life."

The show will be Tuesday, April 15 at 4:10 p.m. in room 110 of Murkland Hall at UNH and is free to students and the public.

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