Nathaniel Colgan 1851-1919
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Nathaniel Colgan MRIA, a self-taught botanist, was known for his research on the ‘real’ shamrock and for his encyclopedic survey, the flara of the County Dublin, Little was known of his early life and family or his interests beyond, martine biology, mountaineering and his day-job. he was said to have been shy, but perhaps it was more a case of being reserved in account of his personal background. when he was 14, he and his siblings were orphaned and brought up in the Coombe, Dublin. held in high esteem by his peers, he rose to become a member of the Royal Irish Academy. this study uncovers his hidden past, from the grandfather whose silk-weaving business waned to his espousal of Gaelic culture: a founder of the Feis Cheoil movement and a member of the Gaelic League, he was the subject of a secret police report when he supported the promotion of a member of the Volunteers at his successor as head clerk in the Dublin police court.