Taken from the publication ‘Kilanerin’, published c.1987
An old book called a “National and Political History of the World”, published in Dublin in 1816 has this to say about gold in these parts:
“Gold is found at Croghan, in the county of Wicklow. This mine first attracted attention about the year 1795. According to moderate calculation, before the Government took possession of it the sum of £10,000 had been paid to the country people for what they collected of this metal. Among these collections was one solid piece weighing 22 ounces, presumptively the largest ever found in Europe. It ceases now, however, to be expected that a sufficiency will be found to answer the expense of the works; but the prosecution of them may eventually tend to the discovery of some rich veins of inferior metal, since ample indication of the presence of several is afforded in most parts of the neighbourhood.”
It further says: “In no country of Europe, perhaps, is there a greater abundance of minerals than in Ireland; in none certainly, are they so generally diffused, or equal variety.”
It seems that silver, copper, lead, iron and coal was very plentiful and names the locations of these minerals. For instances it says that coal occurs in fifteen counties, in many places vastly superior to English coal.
There is a lot more, but the impression is that the Government of the day stifled all attempts at mining in this country.