independent

Thursday 24 July 2014

Collection of photos spans six decades

Cillian Walsh

Published 13/11/2013|05:36

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A young girl rides astride a pony beside the local guide in the company of a lady riding side saddle, and two gentlemen at the Gap of Dunloe, 1911. Following behind is a group in a jaunting car while in the distance a woman in a white blouse tends geese.

FASCINATING photographs of Killarney in the early years of the last century feature prominently in 'Franz S Haselbeck's Ireland', a new collection of black and white images that has been compiled by his granddaughter Patricia Haselbeck Flynn.

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FASCINATING photographs of Killarney in the early years of the last century feature prominently in 'Franz S Haselbeck's Ireland', a new collection of black and white images that has been compiled by his granddaughter Patricia Haselbeck Flynn.

The book is a compilation of Franz Haselbeck's life from the early 1900s to the late 1960s as seen through his camera lens. The book is mainly about his time in Limerick, but Killarney also features strongly because, in his earlier career, Franz spent several years here working with Daniel MacMonagle, with whom he had a close friendship.

"The whole front section of the book is about the early part of his career in Kerry," said Patricia, who has been working "almost obsessively" over the past number of years to put the collection together. "My grandfather absolutely loved Kerry and right up to his 80s went down every year to Puck Fair."

The collection, which is described and "one of Ireland's most important photographic collections", was passed down through generations to Patricia after surviving two fires and a flood,

"I grew up in his shadow so I knew how important the collection was to him but it was only recently that I realised the historical significance of it," she said.

Spanning six decades of major change, this selection is from almost 5,000 surviving images and documents.

Included in these are a number from in and around Killarney in the early 1900s, with photos of the Market Cross in 1910, Kate Kearney's Cottage, the Gap of Dunloe and, Patricia's personal favourite, one of Daniel MacMonagle standing with two ladies on bicycles, with the caption "What a silly bunch we are".

There are now plans for an exhibition of the collection in Killarney some time in 2014.

'Franz S. Haselbeck's Ireland – Selected Photographs' is published by The Collins Press with a price of €24.99. It is available in all good bookshops and online from www.collinspress.ie.

Kerryman

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