The Evolution of Ireland

is a four-part book by Stephen Daly

It aims to chart the evolution of Ireland's land, life, and people from their origins in the deep past right up to the present day, as well as exploring what Ireland might be like in the near and distant future.


The Evolution of Ireland blog has been updated regularly since 2014, and currently amounts to around 80,000 words on Ireland's land, its life, and its people.

These blogs cover everything from the creation of the island itself and that of spectacular features of its landscape like the Giant's Causeway, to its modern and ancient animals, including dinosaurs and ancient sea dragons as well as Ice Age stars like the woolly mammoth, spotted hyena, and giant Irish deer.

The evolution and nature of Ireland's people is also explored, including a look at how humans evolved to walk on two feet, how Neanderthals became ancestors of the Irish, and the origins of some Irish surnames.

Click on the link below to read these blogs.


Throughout the writing of The Evolution of Ireland, I have been very fortunate to receive a great deal of help.

This help has come from family, friends, strangers, academics, artists, and many more. If you would also like to contribute to the completion of this book, you could help by simply spreading the word about it, including by sharing this website using the social media buttons below.

If you would like to go further and make a financial contribution in return for a range of rewards, including access to a monthly newsletter, a copy of the book upon publication, etc., please press the 'Contribute' button below.


From October 1st 2019, you can follow The Evolution of Ireland EVERY WEEK on Instagram and Twitter.

Each week, new posts will appear with a nugget of information that relates in some way to the book, drawing on research as well as trips around Ireland and farther afield, as well as anything else that piques my interest.

Click the icons below to follow my accounts @sdalywriter.


In 2014, I completed a 1,200-kilometre trip around Ireland by foot and bicycle as part of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to allow me to continue writing the book.

This, the Dublin to Derry Walkabout, consisted of me walking from Dublin to south Tipperary, then cycling to Cork, and from there all the way to Malin Head in Donegal before finishing in Derry.

Along the way, I visited many different sites of cultural, historical, archaeological, geological, and evolutionary interest, taking many photos such as the one here of a lonely house in Connemara.

This trip, aside from a week-long break due to injury, was documented in a series of Facebook posts. Many of these were actually written by my multi-talented brother Tom from information I supplied him with, while he also created a fantastic Walkabout Guide on the many locations I was to visit before I set out. Click on these links to learn more about the Dublin to Derry Walkabout.


Between 1998 and 2008, I earned a degree in history, a postgraduate qualification in archaeology, and worked as an archaeologist on a number of projects in Ireland.


In 2009, I began work on The Evolution of Ireland, my first book, which is inspired by my lifelong interest in all aspects of the past, including the course of biological evolution and, in particular, human evolution.


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