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Burren oysters – 1903

Evening Star 26th February, 1903 p.15 (abridged)

Photo: EO’D Crushoa

Mr. Horace Plunkett, an enterprising Irishman, is actively engaged in fostering the production of an oyster warranted to pass the most vigilant analyst in search for bacilli. From a gentleman conversant with the oyster in a scientific as well as a gastronomic sense, I have just had direct information as to the experiments which the Irish agricultural department are carrying out.

These experiments begin when the tiny specks of protoplasm settle on the sea bed and continue until the oyster finds its way to the restaurant bar. The temperature, the effect of currents, the suitability of various kinds of beds for feeding purposes, methods of packing and marketing, and other things appertaining to the oyster too abstruse for the lay mind, are being found and “made a note of”.

In due time a gray book will appear containing information which will be at the disposal of everybody. Meantime the red bank of Burrenco, Clare, the scene of the experiments, is sending its oysters to the Dublin and to some extent to the English markets. The part of the Irish coast involved in the oyster industry is said to be absolutely free from the possibility of sewage and contamination. For example, the only habitations within any reasonable distance of the Burren beds are in the village of Burren,(sic.) and consist of a telegraph office, a grocer’s store and public house – not quite as dangerous as London for the oyster.