Welcome to Irish Photo Archive where Irish historical images and documents have been made available for you to purchase online.

We sell historical, archived images from every day Irish life as well as significant events in the country’s history.

From an archive of over 3.5 million images you can see the many significant characters that visited Ireland over the years. Have a look and enjoy!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

International Chocolate Day: An Excuse to Indulge

One of the first items of confectionary ever invented, chocolate has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries. Originating as a drink in ancient Mesoamerica, the cocoa-bean-based substance was combined with milk and sugar in 16th century spain to create the sweet, milky delight we enjoy to this day.

Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to learn that this Saturday (September 13th) is ‘International Chocolate Day’. Chocolatiers, sweet shop owners and lovers of the creamy confectionary can celebrate their passion with chocolate festivals springing up across towns and cities all over the country.

If you don’t fancy venturing out to a sweet shop, why not try your hand at creating your own chocolate based treat? Maybe try your hand at a traditional Irish Chocolate Cake prepared with mashed potatoes and liquer? Why not add a nutty flavour to the mix by whipping up some choc-peanut fondants? There are plenty of options for everyone to enjoy chocolate this saturday; vegans who don’t indugle in dairy-based food products can try out dark chocolate, soy milk chocolate and rice milk chocolate. As we enter into autumn it may also be wise to break out the hot chocolate.

Lensmen has had a history of documenting Ireland’s most prominent chocolate manufacturers including the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s visit to the Frys-Cadbury factory in 1963 to an Easter egg and the Monsignor’s visit to Urney’s chocolate factory in 1962.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham visits Frys chocolate factory

Older Irish residents will remember Urney Chocolates as Ireland’s only independent chocolate manufacturer, setting up shop in 1919 in County Kildare. After a fire that burned down the original factory, Urney moved operations to Dublin. Urney’s was aquired by mult-national corporation Unilever in 1963. By this point Urney’s was one of the biggest chocolate manufacturers in Europe. Unilever changed the name of the company to HB chocolates before the company was eventually dissolved in 1980.

Monsignors visit Urney's chocolate factory

Lensmen documented a group of monsignors visiting Urney’s factory in 1962. A monsignor is a high ranking member of the catholic clergy, ordained by the pope so it was a great honor for the company to welcome the party into their workplace. The photos, now curated by the Irish Photo Archive depict an enjoyable visit, with the monsignors being shown around the different sectors of the factory and having conversations with the employees.
The monsignors are shown around Urney's factory
Enjoy your chocolate and remember: live every day as if it were International Chocolate Day. Check out to see more photos of Ireland’s chocolate factories.

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