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!

Monday, 28 May 2012

The MacDonagh Family

I got a lovely email this morning from Niall MacDonagh, he wanted to order a print of his mother – Nuala MacDonagh.  The image in question is currently being used on a Peter Kelly card and it’s a stunning image of a very beautiful lady – Nuala MacDonagh (on left)

It turns out that Nuala MacDonagh was married to Donagh MacDonagh, son of Thomas MacDonagh, and Niall is their son!  Thomas MacDonagh was, of course, the Irish nationalist and poet who was executed in 1916.
Donagh MacDonagh was an accomplished poet, playright and presenter also (as well as a district judge) - Donagh MacDonagh (centre)

MacDonagh was educated at Belvedere College and UCD with contemporaries Cyril Cusack, Denis Devlin, Charlie Donnelly and Brian O'Nolan (Flann O'Brien). 
In 1935 he was called to the bar  and in 1941 he was appointed a District Justice in Mayo. He was Justice for the Dublin Metropolitan Courts at the time of his death.
MacDonagh wrote poetic dramas and ballad operas.
 He published three volumes of poetry: Veterans and Other Poems (1943), The Hungry Grass (1947) and A Warning to Conquerors (1969). He also edited the Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958) with Lennox Robinson. A play, Happy As Larry, was translated into a number of languages. He also had three other plays produced God's Gentry, Lady Spinder, and Step in the Hollow. He also wrote short stories.   
He published Twenty Poems with Niall Sheridan; staged first Irish production of Murder in the Cathedral with Liam Redmond, later his brother-in-law and furthermost he was a popular broadcaster on Radio Eireann.
Really you could say Donagh MacDonagh was an all-round incredibly accomplished gentleman!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Siobhan McKenna - born on this day in 1923.

Siobhan McKenna was born in Belfast on this day in 1923.  She grew up in Galway and Monaghan speaking fluent Irish. She was still in her teens when she became a member of an amateur Gaelic theatre group and made her stage debut at Galway's Gaelic Theatre, the Taibhdhearc, in 1940.
She is remembered for her English Language performances at the Abbey Theatre where she would eventually star in what many consider her finest role in the George Bernard Shaw play, 'Saint Joan'.
While performing at the Abbey Theatre in the 1940s, she met actor Denis O'Dea, whom she married in 1956. They had one child, Donnacha, who swam for Ireland at the 1968 Olympics and later won a Poker World Series in 1998.
Although primarily a stage actress, McKenna appeared in a number of made-for-television films and dramas. She also acted in several films including 'King of Kings', starring in the role of the Virgin Mary. In 1964, she performed in 'Of Human Bondage' and the following year in 'Doctor Zhivago'.
She died in November 1986 from lung cancer aged 63 and was buried in Galway.

She is picture here on 19 March 1959 - when she was awarded the title of Lady of the Year by the Variety Club of Ireland

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Western People Loves Irish Photo Archive!

I want to give a big shout out to Keith Bourke from The Western People, for giving us a double page article in his wonderful newspaper!  I've had a huge reaction from people who read the article and were happy to help out in terms of identifying people by name and giving some more background information where possible.  I’ve also had lots of orders from people who came across images of parents and grandparents – I can't go into too much detail but a certain Mayo gentleman will be delighted by a surprise birthday present soon!

It's the biggest reaction we've had to an article to date so thanks again Keith!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

This week's Nenagh Guardian!

A sneak preview of this week’s Nenagh Guardian! Thanks to the editor Garry Cotter for giving us a wee mention!

Overshadow at 1953 Irish Grand National

A lovely gentleman, Gavin Regan, contacted me yesterday. Gavin was referred to us by the National Photographic Archive and was hoping we might be able to help him!
He was trying to finding out if there were any photographs available from the 1953 Irish Grand National.  The winning jockey was a man called Albert Power and the winning horse was called Overshadow.  Albert Power was Gavin’s wife's Grandfather and he is trying to source any material detailing Power’s victory in the race.  After a lengthy search through the ledgers under ‘F’ for Fairyhouse, ‘G’ for Grand National, ‘H’ for Horseracing, ‘R’ for Racing I finally found it under ‘E’ for Easter Monday Racing at Fairyhouse!!! It seems Andy and Padraig (the original photographers) were determined to make me work for results!

In the end we had a happy outcome and found six glass plates with the images Gavin was looking for! I’m thrilled to have been able to help! It makes my day when I can find images that mean so much to people!  You can view the photos at: Overshadow at Irish Grand National 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

1970s Images are online!

I've been spending the last little while uploading some of the 1970s images and there are some real gems in there!  Take this one for example, taken at the Anti-Apartheid Demonstrations at Ireland vs South Africa in January 1970.  Have a look at the rest from that collection at: Anti-Apartheid Demonstrations

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Information on Castlebar Image!

Thanks so much to Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin for emailing through some detailed information regarding one of our favourite images from the collection!

This image shows Rita Quinn neé Hughes (centre) and Francis Hughes (right) having tea in the Green Bay Cafe (which is now a B&B on the mall in Castlebar, Co. Mayo) with a friend of theirs after a journey to Dublin where both sisters were working as chemists.

They didn't realise the photo was being taken at the time! Both ladies are still alive. Rita still has her shop on Main Street Castlebar and Francis retired from being a locum pharmacist at Mayo General hospital three years ago.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Sergeant Bilko's Birthday Today!

Phil Silvers (11 May 1911 – 1 November 1985) was an American entertainer and comedy actor, known as "The King of Chutzpah." He is best known for starring in The Phil Silvers Show, a 1950s sitcom set on a U.S. Army post in which he played Sergeant Bilko. He is seen here arriving in Dublin on 9 March 1974

Thursday, 10 May 2012

New Restaurant for Brown Thomas

On this day in 1961 Brown Thomas launched a new restaurant at their Grafton St. store! It's soooooo sixties! I love it - Brown Thomas Restaurant

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Donnie Phair's Gorgeous New Website!

My good friend Donnie Phair has been working tirelessly to get his website up and running and boy has it paid off! A beautiful site - congrats Donnie! 

Friday, 4 May 2012

Donegal Democrat help promote Irish Photo Archive

Many thanks to Michael Daly, editor of The Donegal Democrat for running this lovely article on the archive!  Trying to raise awareness of our project and website is difficult at times but it's people like Michael Daly that make the process easier! A real gentleman!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Bing Crosby born on this day, 1903...

Bing Crosby was born on this day, May 3rd, 1903.  He was a regular visitor to Ireland. An avid golfer, he is pictured here at a charity golf tournament at Woodbrook, Co. Wicklow (15/09/1961)

Crosby's father was of English descent; some of his ancestors had emigrated to what would become the U.S. in the 17th century (on the Mayflower). He did however have great grandparents on his mother's side who came from Ireland in the early 1830s. She was Catherine (known as Kate) (née Harrigan 1873–1964). So it looks like we can lay claim to a small part of the legend that is Bing Crosby!

Here's a link to an extract from a book on his Irish ancestry: Bing Crosby A Pocketful of Dreams. The Early Years, 1903-1940

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Inniscarra Dam or Glandore Harbour?!

Thanks so much to Eimear MacHale who helpfully messaged to let me know that this image (formerly captioned as View of site for ESB Inniscarra Dam, Co. Cork) is actually Glandore Harbour, West Cork.  She even sent me a pic to illustrate her point. It’s a no brainer once you compare both pics!

President Higgins Present!

A certain President Higgins will be visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library this week as part of his first official visit to the United States.  The gift he'll be presenting to the Museum is an Irish Photo Archive framed image of John F. Kennedy attending a Dinner at Áras an Uachtaráin on 28 June 1963! 

Needless to say everybody's thrilled in the Irish Photo Archive office!