This book would have languished in my laptop but for the initiative and perseverance
of two friends, Professor Seán Sheridan of University College Dublin and that most
energetic and erudite Canadian-born, Irish-based academic and entrepreneur, Dr. Norman
McMillan. Mac and Seán, I am forever in your debt. I am also deeply grateful to Dr
Paddy Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, for writing such a wonderful
I am also very grateful to Ben Ryan, who helped with the layout, advised on best
presentation for publication, tracked down the sources of most of the images of the
scientists (most found originally by myself, by Googling, but some better ones found
by Ben) and obtained permission from the copyright holders. A few sources eluded
us and we apologise for that and hope to have the opportunity to correct it in the
I am also very grateful to Enterprise Ireland for permission to republish here 17
of these Limericks which appeared first in their now-defunct journal, Technology
Ireland, in February, 1982.
The book design and cover--which shows the Limerick Treaty Stone---were done by artist
and designer Steven Bateman, who has also earned my gratitude.
The cartoons have been very kindly drawn by my friend and former student, Dr Jane
Courtney, and I thank her most sincerely here. Many hundreds of students suffered
under my supervision of their work for the National University of Ireland degrees
of B.E., MEngSc and PhD, and their equivalents at the University of Salford, UK—and
I thank them all for enriching my life—but only four of them had the resilience to
endure me for all three. Jane is one of that quartet.