Con Ó Ruairc was born in Dublin and educated at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin, University College, Dublin (BAgrSc, MAgrSc), and Cornell University, New York (PhD).
He spent 40 years working for Teagasc as a botanist, as an editor of scientific publications and as a research planner. Diseases of grasses and forage legumes in Ireland (Foras Talúntais, 1976) is among the many scientific publications he penned. He edited various Teagasc publications, including books on the soils of three Irish counties.
He served as President of the Institute of Biology of Ireland, Chair of the RDS Science Committee and on various committees of the Royal Irish Academy. He organised the programmes for ‘Biology Today’ for second-level students with the Institute of Biology of Ireland, including the first such programme in Irish.
He has been organising lectures and field trips through Irish since 1983 on the flora and fauna of Inis Meáin for trainee primary teachers on their summer stints in the Gaeltacht. His team of lecturers has included Éanna Ní Lamhna, Aisling Nic an tSíthigh, Micheál Óg Ó Briain and Con Breen. The Aran programme has become particularly relevant with the re-introduction of science and the environment in the primary school curriculum.
Updated June 2017