Keeping Sligo's past in focus

Paul Deering

Published 12/07/2014 | 12:00

Michelle Doherty, Eddie Mulrooney, Josephine Eccles, Jim Doherty (Station Master), Des Faul (Sligo Tidy Towns) Nick Devaney (Ballast Signs) and Blair Scales (Manager Ballast Signs).
Michelle Doherty, Eddie Mulrooney, Josephine Eccles, Jim Doherty (Station Master), Des Faul (Sligo Tidy Towns) Nick Devaney (Ballast Signs) and Blair Scales (Manager Ballast Signs).

He took thousands of pictures in his lifetime in Sligo and now giant prints from the late Jim Eccles are adorning the quays.

He took thousands of pictures in his lifetime in Sligo and now giant prints from the late Jim Eccles are adorning the quays.

In a project involving Sligo Tidy Towns, striking images of times past from the late Sligo Champion photographer, Jim Eccles have been erected.

The pictures have enhanced the area and flower baskets have also been added to bring a bit of colour to the black and white prints.

It was the brainchild of Eddie Mulrooney of the nearby Valet Depot. He explained: "The goods store Ballast Quay has overlooked the Garavogue River since 1862 but most of its images no longer exist.

"While looking at the blocked up arches from where many a parcel, letter or just a carton of cigarettes emerged I decided to do something with this magnificent building.

"Ballast Quay needed a focal point, somewhere new to be proud of along our wonderful river, something clever to enhance our beautiful town.

"I looked at painted murals, maybe a mosaic but on discussion with Des Faul from Sligo Tidy Town we decided on printed photographs.

"Now here was a task, what photos and by who, the challenge didn't last long. Who else to honour but our very own Jimmy Eccles.

"I asked Jimmy's daughter Josephine if she would mind if we used some of Jimmy's photos.

"While Jimmy had taken thousands of images the task of getting something that suited our theme of down at the dock proved difficult but none the less we prevailed and selected three of Jimmy's prints.

"Josephine, with emotion in her eyes and pride in heart watched as her dad's name was added to the printed photos.

"She remarked how proud her dad would be.

"He loved taking images of people especially in black and white.

"He didn't engage too much in the whole digital world as 35mm film was his passion.

"Josephine was herself so proud to be part of a something so unique.

"Her memories of Jimmy filling their home with wonderful images of Sligo and now to see some being brought back to life in a way that honoured her dad, made her proud."

Sligo Champion

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