Posts Tagged ‘Kerry’


This colour photograph was taken on the 13th of August 1968 in the County Kerry town of Killorglin (Cill Orglan). This date coincides with the annual Puck Fair, one the oldest fairs in Ireland and the scene of much revelry with public houses remaining open until 3 am. Centred around a cattle fair, the festival also includes traditional music and the capture of a wild goat which is then displayed in the centre of the town!

The two men, sleeping-off the effects of the night before, are oblivious to the rest of the town. In the background, a group of men sit on the street as a Morris Minor car passes by. I love the small details such as the empty Carroll’s No.1 cigarette pack and the half-drunk bottle of milk.

The colour process picks out the reddish brown of the window frame. Similar colours are replicated on the back of the ice-cream van.

I don’t know who the photographer was and it is part of a series of images which I have featured in other posts. A quick look on the Killorgan Archive Society’s excellent website leads me to believe that the photograph was taken at the corner of Michael J. Culloty’s Bar, Main Street.

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I have just returned from Kerry where I had an amazing time at the Listowel Writers’ Week. The atmosphere was really friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed the literary walking tour of the town which included some of the places mentioned in John B. Keane‘s plays and stories. The talks given by David Sedaris and the biographer Michael Holroyd were well worth the journey. I can’t wait to go back for next year’s festival. 

This trip to Kerry reminded me of some beautiful kodachrome slides featuring the county which were taken by an English tourist in 1967. I have shared some of them previously on this blog but now that I have witnessed the beauty of Banna Strand for myself (this is where the sea holly was photographed) I thought I’d post a few more. 

The image of the men carrying the currach boat at Scraggane Pier reminds me of Bill Doyle‘s colour photographs of Inis Oírr taken in 1965 and I find the ruined cottage particularly poignant and a reminder of an Ireland that has vanished. 

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These colour slides were taken by an unknown English tourist in the summer of 1967. I think this photographer had a great eye and the sixty or so slides which I bought online include some real gems. The first photograph shows Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork and I particularly like the shop signs and the reflections in the car mirror. The others show a very blue Dingle Harbour and sea urchin shells collected at Derrynane, County Kerry. The latter is a really strong image  and the repeat pattern created by the shells is particularly appealing. 

The vivd Kodachrome colour works equally well on both the streetscape and natural landscape. This process was launched in 1939 and only ceased production last year. Farewell Kodachrome is a site dedicated to the process and it contains some great images and essays. A book and exhibition by Guy Stricherz called Americans in Kodachrome, 1945-1965 contains ninety images taken, like these three, by anonymous amateur photographers.

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