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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Portraits bring us face to face with Ireland in the 1970s

Michael Staines

Published 07/08/2014 | 00:00

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A child stares out from under his hood in this photo by Gerry Andrews taken during the 1970s.
A child stares out from under his hood in this photo by Gerry Andrews taken during the 1970s.
Mary White - also known as ‘Old Moll’
The Animal Lover

A collection of historical photographs that transport the viewer back to 1970s Limerick will be launched in Temple Bar today.

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The photographs, taken by award-winning social documentary photographer Gerry Andrews as he began his career, provide a snapshot of what life was like for traders, children and characters of Limerick's historic quarter between 1971 and 1978.

There are 95 black and white portrait photographs in total, some measuring seven feet in height as well as the camera equipment that was used to take the pictures. Mr Andrews said many of the photographs come with remarkable back stories.

One picture, titled The Animal Lover, which shows a young boy holding on to his two dogs with a pair of turkeys at his side, has remained etched on his mind.

"That kid was absolutely distraught because his father had just sold those two turkeys and to him they were pets, just like the two dogs," he said.

"Whoever bought the turkeys would have had them killed and plucked right then and there in front of him and I remember when he saw them taken away he just held on to the dogs for dear life."

The boy would be in his early 50s by now, although Mr Andrews said he never knew his name or what had became of him.

The exhibition will run from August 1 till January 5 at the National Photographic archive in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar and admission is free.

Irish Independent

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