Monday 5 December 2016

Photographs unearthed in 'Irish Independent' offices

Published 10/12/2015 | 02:30

The Dublin Bread Company premises on the east side of Lower Sackville (O’Connell) Street. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland / NLI Collection
The Dublin Bread Company premises on the east side of Lower Sackville (O’Connell) Street. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland / NLI Collection
The ruins of Wynn’s Hotel on Lower Abbey St after it was destroyed by fire during the Rising. In 1914 it had hosted one of the inaugural meetings of the Irish Volunteers. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland / NLI Collection

A dusty, leather-bound photo album that lay forgotten in a cupboard contained a treasure trove of images charting the foundation of the State, including the 1916 Rising.

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The album was discovered in the Irish Independent Editor's office earlier this year during renovations and contained some photos which were lost for decades. These photos from this newspaper are now amongst an intriguing archive of Ireland's past that has just been unveiled to the public.

Expertly captured by photographers at Independent Newspapers over the course of over 100 years, the overall Independent Archives consists of glass plates, plastic negatives and a small number of prints.

Comprising a staggering 4.3 million images, the Independent Archives were donated to the National Library of Ireland in 2004.

Now the collection is in the process of being scanned and placed online in a labour of love by image archive advisor at Independent News & Media, Michael Hinch, and legendary photographer Tom Burke - who continues to capture key moments with his lens.

The images document some of Ireland's most important historical events including the 1916 Rising, the formation of the Irish state, the Civil War and the first meeting of Dáil Éireann,

Just 18 photographs of the Easter Rising were taken because it was deemed too dangerous for staff to be on the streets.

At the time, the Irish Independent offices were based on Middle Abbey Street, just around the corner from the GPO.

The archives are available to the public to view at www.independentarchives.com while individual high-quality prints can also be purchased. FS

Irish Independent

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