Is with immense sadness that we must announce that Matthew Parkes, the SUI Librarian, passed away on Friday evening (23rd of October).
Matthew’s passing is an immense loss to the Irish caving community, the mining history and geological communities in Ireland, to his family, and to his many friends.
In his over thirty years of involvement in Irish caving, he made many significant contributions to caving generally and to the SUI in particular. He held several positions within the SUI Committee, most recently as SUI Librarian, where his contributions to the cataloguing and safekeeping of the SUI collection were of immense value. He spearheaded early cave conservation efforts in Ireland, and recorded many obscure caves in the west and northwest of Ireland. He is responsible for the publication of many issues of both the SUI Newsletter and the Irish caving journal Irish Speleology, as well as providing countless articles for other publications.
Matthew also made significant contributions both in his role on the SUI Expedition Sub-Committee and in developing policies for our scientific research programme.
Outside of his activities with Irish caving, Matthew excelled in the field of mine exploration and mining history. In his role as a geological curator with the National Museum of Ireland he carried out invaluable work in archiving and maintaining Ireland’s geological heritage. An excellent publisher and editor, he served as editor of both the popular magazine ES2K (Earth Science 2000), and the prestigious Irish Journal of Earth Sciences.
Matthew was a wonderfully friendly man, who was always happy to help others, we in the SUI committee have benefited immensely from his assistance and advice. He will be greatly missed by many of us on both a personal and a professional level.