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!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

O'Malley Edging Closer

Kevin O'Malley, the St Louis lawyer nominated to serve as the next US Ambassador to Ireland has won unanimously endorsement from the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. For  while the nomination process had been stuck in the type of groove that had stalled President Obama's car as he left the US Embassy in Dublin a few years back.

Kevin O'Malley's nomination 'now goes forward to the floor of the Senate for further consideration and a vote.'

The new U.S. Embassy in Ballsbridge was officially opened by Congressman Wayne L. Hays of Ohio. 23.05.1964

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Monday, 28 July 2014

In Duiblin's Fair City, Expenses are Pretty

Ivor Callely was today jailed for 5 months over expenses fraud. He had earlier pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining €4207.45.

Callely was a Fianna Fáil junior minister who served as Minister of State in the Health and Transport departments between 2002 and 2005.

20th December 1988. Councillor Ivor Callely, Lord Mayor, Ben Briscoe and City Manager, Frank Feely 'helping' Molly with her cart."

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Howth gun-running centenary

The build-up to the 1916 centenary celebrations are well underway, but 2014 marks the anniversary of another milestone in the struggle for Irish independence – the Howth gun-running incident.

On June 26, 1914, the Asgard arrived into Howth harbor, filled with guns and ammunition for the Irish volunteers. The Asgard had been a wedding present for the writer Erskine Childers and his wife, Molly, and they were part of the crew on the gun-running mission. Childers had been instrumental in sourcing the arms, and with help from Roger Casement, negotiated the purchase of 1,500 rifles in Hamburg. These rifles were single shot Mausers dating from the Franco-Prussian war; they still functioned, but many Volunteers later complained about their antiquity.

The Asgard

Only 900 of the rifles could be taken by the Asgard, and they completely filled the cabin. All the sleeping and cooking had to be done on top of the guns. On the return trip to Ireland, the Asgard not only had to sail through a couple of bad storms but also slipped by the biggest ever review of the British navy, preparing for the First World War.

The Asgard arrived at Howth harbor in broad daylight. As well as procuring arms, the whole operation was intended as a propaganda exercise, so little attempt was made to hide from the authorities. British soldiers were sent to intercept the yacht, but Thomas MacDonagh and Bulmer Hobson managed to distract the troops until all the arms had been unloaded and hidden.

The success of the Asgard’s escapade was marred by the shooting of unarmed civilians later that day at Bachelor’s Walk in Dublin. As news spread of the landing of the arms, a crowd of people at Bachelor’s Walk started jeering British soldiers. A shot was fired by a soldier, which lead to a volley of shots aimed at the crowd. Three people died and thirty-eight were injured, with another man dying later from his wounds. This incident shocked the Irish population, and did more to swell the ranks of the Irish Volunteers than the Howth gun-running itself.

Roger Casement was tried for treason and executed after the 1916 Rising. Childers survived the Rising only to be executed by the Free State authorities during the Irish Civil War. However, his son and namesake, Erskine, went on to become president of the Republic of Ireland, dying while in office.

Crowds line out for Roger Casement\s funeral

In 1961, the Irish government bought the Asgard and staged a re-enactment of the Howth gun-running. Éamon De Valera, who was only saved from execution in 1916 by his US passport, was the serving president of Ireland for this re-enactment and played a large part in the ceremony. Several surviving members of the Volunteers also attended, and some of the original Mauser rifles made an appearance.

The Asgard was then commissioned for a short period of time as an official sail training ship. Charles Haughey was the government representative at the commissioning ceremony, being a keen sailor as well as the then Minister for Finance. Ironically, he became embroiled in a gun-running scandal himself during the same time period. Although he was acquitted of all charges in court, he was not given a cabinet role again until 1977.

In 1974, the Asgard was drydocked and placed in Kilmainham Jail as part of a National Museum exhibition. It was hoisted by crane over the wall into one of the exercise yards, and remained there until 2001, when it was removed for restoration. Since 2012, it has been housed in the National Museum in Collins Barracks.

The Asgard being lifted into the yard at Kilmainham.

That’s quite an adventurous century by any standards! Another recreation of the Asgard sailing into Howth has been planned to mark the centenary, though a replica of the yacht will be used. There will also be no rifles at this year’s event.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

No Return

International monitors claimed on Tuesday that body parts belonging to the passenger and crew who perished in the MH17 plane incident still remained at the scene of the crash site in eastern Ukraine. Dutch authorities claim that 80 bodies have still not been returned.

The Russian and Western authorities are engaged in strategic international conflict game with much higher stakes than featured during any of the famed chess competitions that occasionally captured international  media attention.

Chess Grand Masters, Clerys, Dublin 1, Ireland. 6th May 1982. USSR Chess Grandmaster visits Clerys. Mr Yefim Geller made a personal appearance in Clerys. Clerys sponsored the visit in conjunction with the Irish Chess Union, in agreement with the Russian Chess Federation. As Mr Geller plays against Mr Arthur Walls (CEO Clerys) they are watched by Mr Denis Ryan (Co Secretary)

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Monday, 21 July 2014


The shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine has led to an increase in international tension. The US administration is blaming Russian backed separatists for shooting the aircraft out of the sky, resulting in the loss of 298 passengers and crew.

The UK is reported to be advocating banking oil and gas sanctions against the Russians. The decrease in tension between Moscow and Washington that characterised the era of Gorbachev seems to have been put into reverse. Russian president Putin's relationship with the West has been much more volatile than Gorbachev's. 

2nd April 1989. As part of a European tour Russian President, Mikhail Gorbachev visited Ireland. As the architect of 'Glasnost' he was warmly welcomed on his arrival at Shannon Airport. Image shows Mikhail Gorbachev beginning his speech on the tarmac at Shannon Airport.

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Friday, 18 July 2014

War on Gaza

The asymmetrical armed conflict between Israel and Gaza has intensified in recent days to the point that latest reports indicate a Palestinian death rate of 200 while Israel has sustained one fatality. Yesterday the state of Israel launched a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.

Israel has ignored many international calls to desist from its policy of targeting Palestinian children. Four children were bombed to death in Gaza on Wednesday yesterday in full view of journalists who claimed it was clear the targets of the Israeli gunboat attack were children and not Hamas combatants.

18th September 1989.
The newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Yoav Biran, met with the Jewish Community in Ireland at the Israeli Embassy at Ballsbridge Dublin.

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Mahmoud Bazzi

On 19 April 1980, the body of an Irish UN peacekeeper, Private Stephen Griffin arrived at Dublin Airport. He had been killed three days earlier by the South Lebanon Army, an Israeli-backed Christian militia, while manning a checkpoint at At Tiri in southern Lebanon.

Pallbearers from the 1st Engineers Company Cork, colleagues of Private Stephen Griffin, carry his tricolour-draped coffin into the church at Arbour Hill, 19 April 1980

While Pvt Griffin’s body lay waiting to be returned to his family, three of his colleagues were ambushed by the SLA on 18 April: Private John O’Mahony, Private Derek Smallhorne and Private Thomas Barrett. Pvt O’Mahony managed to escape, but not without being shot several times. He survived and is still alive today. Pvts Smallhorne and Barrett were taken away and their bodies were found that night. They had both been tortured and shot in the back of the neck at close range.

Mahmoud Bazzi allegedly claimed responsibility for these deaths, saying it was in revenge for the killing of his own brother. He has been living in the US for the past twenty years and initiated citizenship proceeding. As a result of this, the US authorities sought information from a Associated Press journalist that was with the Irish soldiers when they were kidnapped. This journalist, Steve Hindy, identified Bazzi as one of the SLA men involved in the ambush.

The ‘Justice for Smallhorne and Barrett’ group, made up of family, friends and former colleagues of the two soldiers have welcomed this development, as they have been putting pressure on the US government to extradite Bazzi back to Lebanon to answer for his activities during the civil war.

While this is a small step forward, it gives hope that the US authorities are finally prepared to openly address the case of a man accused of kidnapping a US citizen (Hindy), the attempted murder of a UN peacekeeper and the torture and murder of two UN peacekeepers being allowed to live freely in their country.

The have an in-depth article on the background of this case, which you can find here.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Germany on Top the World

The FIFA Word Cup, staged in Brazil, is over. Germany are the winners and will retain their world crown until at least 2018 when the next tournament is held in Russia.

Yesterday crowds assembled in Berlin to welcome the conquering heroes home who snatched victor in the closing minutes of extra time with a stunning strike from Mario Goetse.

Irish soccer fans will be hoping that their team under the guidance of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane will make it to Russia in four years time.

May 1965
Ireland v Spain, World Cup Qualifier at Dalymount Park, Dublin. Spanish keeper Jose Iribar leaps high to punch the ball clear over Andy McEvoy. Ireland won the game 1-0.

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Croke Park Disagreement

The Garth Brooks' concerts have been cancelled. All five of them. But the furore is still continuing: should the Taoiseach intervene, would daytime concerts be a possibility? Meanwhile, El Divo at the centre of it all has stamped his cowboy boot and refused to play because he won’t get everything he wants. 

Whatever your opinion of Mr Brooks and his music, it has been estimated that the economy will miss out on a €250 million boost from the concert through ticket taxes, travel, hotel revenues, food receipts etc. And 400,000 people are now bitterly disappointed because 373 local residents objected. Let’s hope the fans manage to find a positive outlet for their frustration.

Muhammed Ali v. Al Blue Lewis at Croke Park, 19 July 1972

And on the other hand, you do need to appreciate the residents’ point of view. The concerts would involve five nights of crowds, loud booming music, yells, screams, blocked roads, all sorts of inconvenience for them. Peter Aiken, the organizer of the Irish concerts, had agreed to contribute €500,000 to the community fund instead of the customary  €100,000, but it was not enough to ease the residents’ concerns.

A brass marching band in Croke Park, 17 March 1971

Perhaps the residents had just decided to make a stand when the addition of extra nights became a concern to them and it all escalated out of hand. Maybe it’s a case of urban sophisticates looking down on the musical taste of an audience that would mostly come from outside the Pale. Or maybe the locals are really concerned that the middle-aged fan base will not be able to stop themselves from breaking into line dances on Jones’s Road and break the tarmac into smithereens with their synchronised spurs. Who knows? Musicians and their fans can be awfully anarchic at times.

Dickie Rock mobbed by fans, 26 April1966

Friday, 4 July 2014

Fourth of July

The staff at the US embassy in Dublin must be relieved to finally have an ambassador to celebrate Independence Day with. Kevin O’Malley, a lawyer from St Louis, Missouri, was nominated by Barack Obama a month ago.

O’Malley hails roots from County Mayo and has a background in diplomacy as well as law, having served as Community Ambassador in 1968 in what was then Czechoslovakia. He is no walkover however, as can be seen from his stint as Special Attorney of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the United States Department of Justice, and as Assistant US Attorney in St Louis.

The Ambassador's Residence

Hopefully, Mr O’Malley will find the Ambassador’s Residence comfortable. The Deerfield Residence is an 18th century building on over 60 acres of private grounds in the urban oasis that is the Phoenix Park. It was originally the residence of the Chief Secretary of Ireland when the country was under British rule – Winston Churchill even played there as a child.

The building also served as the US Embassy before the current embassy was custom built for this function. It was still functioning as the embassy when JFK visited in 1963, though there was still enough space to put him and his sisters up for the night.

JFK leaving the US embassy after a meeting with Taoiseach Sean Lemass

Kennedy was assassinated a few short months after that visit, and before the new US embassy was opened in 1964. The US ambassador, Matt McCloskey, who had been so proud to escort his president around Ireland, led the opening ceremony. The event had a rather somber tone, as people reflected on the loss of the man that had charmed the country the previous year.

Opening ceremony of the US Embassy in Ballsbridge, 23 May 1964

However, there will be no dampeners on this year’s Independence Day celebrations, apart perhaps from the ubiquitous Irish showers. The Irish Photo Archive wishes all US citizens in Ireland, all Irish-Americans, and all Irish citizens in the US a very happy Independence Day. And if the rain soaks the firecrackers, just head inside to the fire and let the craic continue.