The Remarkable Ray of Dublin’s Ringsend



The common stingray was much celebrated in the fishing village of Ringsend, county Dublin, Ireland, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The village, colloquially known as “Raytown,” has a special relationship with this remarkable elasmobranch. Shared, never sold, amongst the villagers, the “towed ray” was central to their daily food supply, while also being prized for its reputed healing powers. Now gone from Dublin Bay and protected along Irish coasts, the ray remains strongly rooted in the identity of Ringsend and its local history.

Author Biography

Cordula Scherer, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Cordula Scherer is a research fellow at the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College. A marine ecologist by training, her focus is the marine environment and our relationship with it. Modeling ocean productivity in the past and promoting locally sourced, sustainable seafood by revitalizing historical recipes gives her an important insight into the pivotal role of marine resources in people’s daily lives. Cordula’s most recent publication is “FoodSmart City Dublin: A Framework for Sustainable Seafood” (Scherer & Holm, 2020). In 2019, she won an EHCA award for Best Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental History.

A smiling stingray (its underside) in Portaferry Aquarium. © 2016 Cordula Scherer.