Snapshots of Drogheda life for charity


Alison COMYN

Published 01/07/2009 | 10:34

Jimmy Weldon who is selling his photographic work over the years in Drogheda in the Drogheda Town Centre on July 2nd for one week in aid of Drogheda Hospice Homecare. Credit: Paul Mohan

THERE will be a chance to pick up some unique Drogheda art this week in Drogheda Town Centre, West Street, when wellknown local photographer Jimmy Weldon will be selling some examples of his work in aid of Drogheda Hospice Homecare.

For one week only, from Thursday, July 2nd, the huge selection of local snaps will be up for grabs, and all in the name of a good cause.

'With the changeover to digital, I realised that I had thousands of old local photographs at the studio, and I had so much pleasure taking them, I thought I would give something back,' says Jimmy.

'There are some wonderful local faces and places, and you may see someone you know, or somewhere that has great memories for you, and by buying the images for € 3 each, you'll be supporting one of the best charities in the town, Drogheda Hospice Homecare.'

Considering he has photographed every wellknown person in the town, every celebrity who has visited Drogheda and over 500 weddings, it's hard to believe that Jimmy is only nine years as a professional photographer.

'I always had a love of taking pictures, and was a member of the camera club, but only took it up full-time in 2000,' says Jimmy.

'Before that I was a bar manager in a number of places in the town and people may remember I was also the caretaker in the Drogheda Credit Union.'

But he has made up for lost time over the past decade and some of Jimmy's highlights are photographing Hillary Clinton in New York, Jordan in Earth and, of course, helping a famous magician to buy shoes!

'Paul Daniels was on LMFM, and he was very cranky,' Jimmy says with a smile.

'I asked could I take his picture, and he agreed to come out in the car with me, but then wanted to know where he could buy a pair of shoes! I took him straight to Paddy Dwyer's, where I knew they'd look after him.'

Jimmy has also taken pictures of Presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson, as well as Jean Kennedy-Smith and Judith Chalmers and was given a civic award in 2007 in recognition of recording the community of Drogheda both past and present.

'But the nicest person I've ever photographed is Des Smyth,' he says. 'He is a thorough gentleman and no matter how busy he is, he makes time for you.'

This exhibition is not the first time Jimmy has held events for charity.

'In 1994, I held a show in Droichead Arts Centre for cystic fibrosis, in 2000 for Crumlin Children's Hospital, I had a book and CD out in 2005 and 2006, and last year, we brought out the councillors' calendar which raised € 6,500 for hospice homecare,' he recalls.

'And we are working on a new calendar for next year using some of these prints. Oh, and there will be another new book out in October, called Jimmy's People 2.'

Judging by some of the gems on display in Drogheda Town Centre, it's bound to be a best seller too.

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