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Ballintoy potato breeder celebrated

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Ballintoy potato breeder celebrated thumbnailJohn Clarke’s daughter, Miriam Hanna and niece, Rosemary McGarry, deliver material for an exhibition to celebrate his achievements in potato breeding in Northern Ireland

AN exhibition has opened in Belfast to celebrate a world renowned potato breeder from Ballintoy.
Despite having no formal education, John Clarke, who passed away in 1980, e became a recognised world expert on the science of potato breeding, producing many varieties, some of which are still widely produced.
His first variety, Ulster Monarch, was certified in 1936. Over the next 51 years he was to have 33 varieties certified, of which the first 30 had the prefix Ulster.
John was respected by his contemporaries and won many accolades. He was awarded the Lord Derby Gold Medal in 1948, a Master of Agriculture Degree by QUB in 1950, the John Snell Medal by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Cambridge in the mid-1950s and in 1957 the Belfast Telegraph Cup for Outstanding Achievements in Agriculture. John was awarded the OBE in 1969.

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