FUR OF THE FUTURE – Amharc Éireann: Eagrán 80
Moriarty makes his debut at the show where 100s of chinchillas are exhibited and judged. However, unlike the tribunal, poor Moriarty will not be able to avoid his fate.
P.J. Holland, a judge from Wales, inspected the coats and assessed the quality of the fur. Judges from all over world came to these shows to find the best chinchillas money could buy, with some being valued at as much as £150. It was noted that ‘ten years ago there was not much talk about these lovely animals’ except for discussion about how much money people could earn from them. Their extremely soft fur and gentle disposition when handled made them an attractive alternative to larger, more expensive animals. International trade of chinchillas dates back to the 16th century but led to the extinction of one species and put serious pressure on the other 2. Nowadays, it is illegal to hunt chinchillas but domestic chinchillas are controversially still bred for fur. Let’s hope Moriarty’s owner, Colonel Ó Ceallaigh from Bray, decided to keep him safe as a house pet.
Produced by Gael Linn, Amharc Éireann (A View of Ireland) is Ireland’s longest-running indigenous newsreel series. It was distributed to cinemas throughout the country to promote the Irish language. Between 1956 and 1964, 267 editions of the newsreel were produced for cinema exhibition.
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With kind permission of Gael Linn.