The foundations of the nationalist movement that led to the War of Independence were laid in the early nineteenth century when a series of government-funded initiatives, such as the Ordnance Survey of Ireland and the Geological Survey, were set in train. Allied to this, the creation of learned cultural and scientific societies, such as the Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and Royal Hibernian Academy, made Dublin in the mid-nineteenth century a centre for intellectual activity. However there were two Irelands - in the West, the Great Famine saw thousands die from starvation and disease while, in Dublin, great discoveries were being made in mathematics and the sciences.
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Image: View of the Blasket Islands and the Slea Head area of the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, GSI field sheet , G.V. Du Noyer, Geological Survey Ireland