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NHW Mini Mag Kenya Special image for National Heritage Week website

The Evolution of Ireland MiniMag Kenya Special

Stephen Daly/The Evolution of Ireland Project

  • Co. Cork City

This project is related to a trip I took to Kenya in May this year which allowed me to explore not just the heritage and culture of this great African country's land, life, and people but the heritage and culture of Ireland's land, life, and people too as it illuminated many surprising and fascinating connections between these widely separated lands.

For instance, did you know that Ireland was once home to some of the most spectacular mammals that inhabit modern Kenya, its Ice Age incarnation home to elephants and spotted hyenas, while hippos, rhinos, and monkeys may also have inhabited ancient Ireland?

That Ireland is home to an animal three times faster than the cheetah? Or that the first long-necked giraffes arose on Earth closer to Ireland than Kenya?

That Kenya's Luo people and the Irish once combined to create the most powerful man on the planet? Or that an Irishman grew the first commercially viable coffee plant in Kenya?

I could keep going, as the connections between Ireland and Kenya extend from the present day all the way back to our origins as humans, as apes, and even far, far further, to the very birth of parts of the island over 650 million years ago, while they also extend far into the future with projections suggesting that millions of years from now Ireland and Kenya will truly be connected, as part of a single continent.

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