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, 5 December 2015

Glass Plate were a great medium to capture quality images but it required a skilled photographer and a lot of care in the steps following the shoot to reproduce the image in the required media real professional from the 1950s Lensmen Photographers went on a job with 4 plates and came back with the image required they were more like marks men than the machine gun methods used today, we shoot hundreds of shots and get lucky with a couple!
Thanks to these professionals and there great work we are privilege to have access to a collection of top quality images that would match or beat what is been produced today with very high tech equipment and lighting. We can scan the images and make them available in every corner of the world at a click. This is a concept that the photographer in the 50s and 60s would have loved to have access to.
Lensmen, Ireland's premier photographers, was established in 1952 by Andrew Farren and Padraig MacBrian Lensmen continues on well into the new millennium thanks to Susan Kennedy who purchased the business in 1996 and has weathered the storm of change and recession to evolve the business into a complete service including video and time laps  are saving this great collection in digital format so it can be viewed on line all sales proceeds are reinvested in this project. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Dalymount Park the home of Irish Soccer Book by Colin White

What an exciting time to be launching an Irish Soccer Book! We are on our way to European Championship 2016 in France. For a small population we are lucky to have great sporting achievement thanks to our dedicated sports people. Well done to Martin O'Neill and all the Team who have done us proud again.
Tomorrow evening we will have the privilege of meeting John Giles in Dalymount Park to Launch Colin Whites book containing a great pictorial record of Irish Soccer over the years and all the famous teams and players who visited Dalymount, I was surprised at the great images that were captured on wet and cold winter evenings. This will be the must have gift for any Irish Soccer Fan this Christmas so he/she can quote the history over a latte in France next summer.
John Giles Irish Photo Archive  this link will give a sample of the great images we can provide in Fine Art Print complete with certificate of authenticity, embossed stamp, and Guaranteed Irish. from a very reasonable price of just €20 + tax and postage.
Colin White Author and Publisher is Columba Press 
There will be an e-book version also available if your like me and forget to buy that gift on time you can pull the game out of the fire and send the ebook. 

Dalymount Park: The Home of Irish Football is a lovingly crafted pictorial history of one of Dublin’s most treasured landmarks, put together by journalist and lifelong League of Ireland supporter Colin White.

Spanning twelve decades, the book contains fantastic photographs and magic memories from the stadium’s 125-year existence.

Irish legend John Giles, a man who stood in the terraces as a boy watching his heroes gracing the turf at ‘Dalyer’, has penned a heartfelt foreword – a love letter to the place where he began his international career.

“Dalymount Park is and forever will be the true historic home of Irish football. As a football man, it means a lot to me, and I know it means a huge amount to Irish football fans throughout the country.” – John Giles

Friday, 13 November 2015

Happy Customer in France

Cathie in Perpignan France found this unique image that brought her back to a Happy Day in Dublin 

image not displayed
JFK Passing O'Flynn's Barbers O'Connell Street 26/6/1963
Hi Sean,
Thank you so much for the swift arrival of my wonderful photo. 

I can tell you where it has taken me.
Im 4, standing with my dad in the doorway of my dad’s barber shop...and I saw nothing because of the crowds. 
I didn’t care, I got an ice cream from Fortes shop next door to celebrate the moment. 
A 99 with bright red syrup.
Who passed? I don't know..... two men in a big car and a man with sunglasses.
But I'm there.

Thank you.

you MUST advertise this service for Christmas; What a super idea as a present (and lets face it, who remembers whet they got last year!!) 
Imagine getting a photo of some big occasion, newsworthy event.... of the year you were born... 
I bet if you put all the BIG moments from each year (from the 30s onwards) that people would love a super print and the lovely cert along with it.
My photo is now framed, and on my wall. Ive no doubt people may think Im a real traditional Irish woman with Kennedy and Dev on the wall (all I'm missing is the Pope) !!
Do I care?
Cathie O Flynn

Thanks Cathie: You have brought a smile to my face in an overcast Ireland today, There was a time when every home in Ireland had a picture of the Pope or The Queen but never Both other options were Big Ian or JFK.
We now have a wide choice of iconic Photographic Decor to suit the more cosmopolitan and informed times we live, as you say there is an image to suit everyone in our collection of B&W Fine Art Prints and a 4 day turnaround to the Sunny South of France ensures we will have your choice any where in the world in time to make a happy Christmas Memory.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Well Done New Zealand

I think all will agree the best team won the 2015 Rugby World Cup, so All back to work for the next 4 years and look forward to Japan 2019. All will also agree Our Irish Lads done us proud the competition is getting tougher every year and there are no soft team's as England learned very early in the competition
See link to New Zealand team in Ireland 1959 Team in Ireland

Irish Rugby Football Union, Ireland v New Zealand, Tour Match, Landsdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday 7th December, 1963

Scotland preformed much better than some might expect and were unlucky not to be in the the shakedown

Scottish Rugby Fan's not happy and they might have good reason. Craig Joubert not going to win any popularity votes. IT Report Lets hope it inspires northern hemisphere rugby to be that little bit better and target Japan world cup 2019

Friday, 28 August 2015

Season end to All Ireland Senior Football Final

Is 2015 shaping up to be an exciting season end every one was saying Dublin early in the season where would the money go now? Dublin, Mayo, or the September Kerry?

Name the 2 players and win an A4 Fine Art Print.
Feel free to share and get help from the Culchies! Or the Jacks! 

Friday, 21 August 2015

ROSC art exhibitions

The ROSC art exhibitions were a series of international exhibitions held in Dublin between 1967 and 1988. ‘ROSC’ translated as ‘poetry of vision’, and the exhibition was founded by the architect Michael Scott.

The exhibition did not take place annually, but was held in 1967, 1971, 1977, 1980, 1984 and 1988. The idea was to exhibit work created in the previous four years from the top 50 modern artists. Each show also had a side exhibition, e.g. Viking art, Chinese art, Russian art.

The inaugural ROSC exhibition
13 November 1967
The exhibition attracted quite a lot of international interest initially. For example, the 1967 exhibition included works from Picasso, Francis Bacon, Joan Miro and Williem de Kooning. It was held in the RDS for the first two exhibitions, then later in the Hugh Lane Gallery and the Guinness Hop Store. However, as the recession of the 1980s deepened, ROSC found it increasingly difficult to secure sponsors. It is unlikely the last two exhibitions would have taken place without Guinness making their Hop Store available free of charge.

William O'Loghlen, Director Bank of Ireland, Peter Owens, Managing Director of Peter Owens, Michael Scott and archaeologist Dr Marie de Paor at the press briefing for the 1977 ROSC exhibition.
25 July 1977 
The 1984 exhibition in particular encountered a lot of problems. Despite the Hop Store being made available to ROSC, the selection of art works was a major stumbling block that year. Initially, no Irish artists were included in the line-up, so an Irish panel was assigned the task of selecting ten. They couldn’t whittle their list down any further than 22, however, which lead to the withdrawal of the Dutch judge, Frits Becht, from the competition, as well as six of the seven Dutch artists. The Henry Moore side exhibition was cancelled when his representatives saw the space allocated to him, but was replaced by a Joseph Beuys exhibition. Ronnie Tallon was eventually chosen to select the Irish artists, and the final line-up had 52 artists, ten of which were Irish.

Charles Haughey admiring his likeness at the 1988 ROSC exhibition
19 August 1988 
One further ROSC exhibition was held in 1988, but it proved to be the last of the series. Micheal Scott died the following year and, though he had handed over the chair of ROSC to Patrick J. Murphy several years earlier, he had remained on the executive council. The loss of the visionary behind ROSC no doubt was another blow to the foundations of the exhibitions.

Scott was not just a loss to the ROSC exhibitions, but to the Irish architectural and art communities in general. He was the architect behind the Busaras building, as well as reconstructing the Abbey Theatre after it was burnt down. He had often walked the boards himself as a member of the Abbey Players, and was even headhunted by Seán O’Casey to tour the US, ending up on Broadway in ‘The Plough and the Stars’. Fortunately for Irish architecture, he eventually decided that being an architect was probably a more financially secure career than acting. Scott joined forces with Ronnie Tallon and Robin Walker to form Scott Tallon Walker in 1975, one of the most modernist architectural firms in Ireland that frequently collaborated with artists like Patrick Scott, Louis le Broquy and Anne Madden.

All images available @ Irish Photo Archive

Friday, 14 August 2015

Boat people and coffin ships

The crew of the LÉ Niamh have been busy again this week, rescuing another 125 people from an inflatable dinghy on Tuesday as well as the over 350 lives they saved last week.

And while the crew are just doing their best to treat every human being they encounter as an equal, politicians, business leaders and media personalities continue to argue over who should have to deal with the migrants.

This hard-hearted attitude to migrants is not a new phenomenon, demonstrated by our own history of boatloads of Irish people being transported to America only to encounter ‘No Irish need apply’ signs. These boats are still called ‘coffin ships’ because so many people died on the journey, and because of how the human cargo was loaded in like cattle. Even though people knew this hardship lay ahead, they still sold everything they owned to raise the price of a ticket because they were desperate to escape the famine and poverty in Ireland.

Vietnamese boat people arriving in Dublin,
with Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael O'Kennedy (centre in dark suit), ready to greet them.
9 August 1979.
A century later, Ireland was the country receiving migrants when we agreed to accept Vietnamese boat people for resettlement. This crisis arose after the end of the Vietnam war, when the communist regime began cracking down on those that had supported the South Vietnamese government. Large boats carrying up to 2,000 migrants began arriving on the shores of Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia, who refused to allow the ships to dock until other countries had agreed to resettle the migrants.

Because these large ships were encountering difficulties, many people decided to use smaller boats to cross the seas. Thousands of lives were lost when these boats sank, or else migrants had to deal with pirates, bad weather, hunger, thirst. Many women were raped when pirates raided their boat, or were abducted after all possessions had been stolen from the other passengers. If they made it across the sea, they would be put in refugee camps until they were accepted by another country.

The amount of people travelling by boat lessened when a programme was set to process resettlement eligibility from Vietnam, and a cut-off point, after which boatpeople would be treated as normal economic refugees, was set for March 1989.

Refugees arriving in 1981
18 March 1981
Ireland was not initially over-enthusiastic about opening our doors to these migrants, and only agreed after repeated requests from the UN. Two hundred migrants arrived in 1979, with other small groups landing hereon a couple of occasions during the 1980s. These were first given English language lessons in Blanchardstown, and then were dispersed around the country – to avoid ‘ghettoization’.  However, as this policy generally led to isolation, many families and people made their way back to Dublin after a few years.

As yet, though the Irish navy helping to patrol the Mediterranean and prevent more people dying in that stretch of water, the Irish authorities have not as yet agreed to accept any of the migrants. Our economy in 1979 was not particularly impressive, but we still managed to absorb severalyoung families without major repercussions. If we are asked to do so again for this new crisis 35 years later, there is no reason to doubt that we could not achieve the same.

George Colley cuts the cake after a naturalisation ceremony for some of the Vietnamese migrants.
8 July 1987
May the LÉ Niamh and her crew continue with the stellar work they are currently doing, and making us all proud. And may a better life lie ahead for the people they rescue from the water.

All photos available @ Irish Photo Archive

Friday, 7 August 2015

The Dublin Horse Show

The annual Dublin Horse Show has been taking place this week at its home at the RDS in leafy Ballsbridge. Launched in 1868, the event is one of the main events in the Irish equine calendar, and is estimated to bring €45m to the local economy this year.

Mrs Rosemary Brooke with her son Alan (15) standing, and her daughter Malinda (9) at the 1967 RDS Horse Show
9 August 1967
The Horse Show was first set up to showcase the talent of Irish showjumpers, and has taken place almost continuously ever since, with the exception of the years of the two world wars. It hosts the Aga Khan trophy and the Longines International Grand Prix, as well as classes, exhibitions and trade stands. 

The Aga Khan trophy is perhaps one of the best known of the events during the show, with international teams of four horses competing in timed trials. The trophy could only be won outright if a team won the competition three years in a row. This has been achieved five times: by the Irish twice, the British twice and Switzerland once. The original trophy was donated by the Aga Khan, hence the name of the competition.

The Irish winning team with the Aga Khan trophy in 1979.
10 August 1979
Another important event this year will be the Best Dressed Ladies competition on Friday, where an incredible €10,000 prize money is up for grabs. The dark days of the recession must be over at last! Originally, there was a side-saddle riding competition for women held on Fridays, where they would compete in full riding habit costumes with veils, and the day became known as ‘Ladies Day’.

Rosemary Broad and Sandra Caruth participating in the Horse Show in their own way in 1960.
2 August 1960
Besides standing around and looking pretty, women were not allowed compete in the Horse Show until 1919. It was not until 1954 that women were allowed take part in the international competitions, though now it is obligatory for teams to include at least one female rider.

If you would like to go to the show this year, it is advised to book a ticket quickly. All the hospitality packages have already been sold out, but general admission tickets, or tickets to the main hall are still available. If you find yourself unable to get into the main events, don’t worry as they will be shown on large screens around the arena, allowing you to keep an eye on the jumping as you indulge yourself in shopping, eating and drinking.

All images available @ the Irish Photo Archive

Friday, 31 July 2015

Miami Showband killings

On the morning of the first day of August in 1975, Ireland woke up to the shocking news of the paramilitary murder of three members of the Miami Showband. This very popular band, often dubbed ‘The Irish Beatles’, had been ambushed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at a fake roadblock on their way back from a gig in Banbridge, County Down, where the shootings occurred. Two members of the band survived.

The Miami Showband played the same type of music as all the other showbands of the era: covers of chart music, with some Irish ballads and traditional songs mixed in. They did not sing political songs, or make any comment on the Troubles or Northern Ireland politics.

The Miami Showband was where Dickie Rock first rose to fame, and they had seven No.1’s in the Irish charts in the 1960s and ‘70s and were the first Irish artist to go straight to No.1 spot for their single, ‘Every Step of the Way’. They also represented Ireland in the Eurovision in 1966 and appeared on British TV.

The Miami Showband celebrating their third anniversary as a band
29 November 1965
Members of the Miami Showband check their photos at Baily Gibson Printers
2 December 1964
The line up of the band changed several times before 1975, with the biggest upheaval in 1972 when Dickie Rock went solo. On the night what became known as ‘the Miami Showband Massacre’, the line-up was Des Lee (saxophonist), Brian McCoy (trumpeter), Tony Geraghty (guitarist), Fran O'Toole (lead singer), Steven Travers (bassist) and Ray Millar (drummer – who survived the attack when he drove back to Dublin by himself).

The armed forces in Northern Ireland regularly set up roadblocks at that time, so it was not an unusual event to encounter one. When the band pulled up in their van, they were politely asked to leave the vehicle as it was being checked. The men at the checkpoint, all dressed in British Army uniforms, talked to the musicians about the gig they’d had that night while the van was being ‘checked’.

However, under the pretense of the security check, two of the UVF men were installing a bomb in the back of the van. It was set with a timer, but detonated as they left the van, killing them both instantly. All the members of the Miami Showband were knocked into the field or ditch beside the road with the force of the blast. The remaining gunmen panicked after the blast, and started firing at the band to eliminate all witnesses to the event.

Brian McCoy died almost instantly in the first volley of shots, with Fran O’Toole and Tony Geraghty shot down as they tried to run away. Des Lee had been knocked into the ditch by the door of the van, which also helped conceal him from the gunmen. Steven Travers had been hit by a bullet, but survived by playing dead.

It is believed that the bomb was intended to detonate within the Republic, and that the musicians could then be accused of transporting arms for republican paramilitaries. All the attack did was increase tensions across Ireland in an already volatile time, and make other showbands reluctant to travel to Northern Ireland. It brought the careers of some much loved musicians to a brutal end, and added to the toll of innocent people caught in the middle of the Troubles.

All images available @ Irish Photo Archive