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An Irish journey

In the picture files of the Irish Independent, the rich story of modern Ireland is mapped in remarkable detail.

From 1916 to the death of Michael Collins, from the first Dail to the Celtic Tiger, the days of our lives are stored on precious photographic glass plates and negatives.

For more than a century, this newspaper has faithfully recorded the goings-on in Irish life and in the process developed a treasure trove of true historical value.

Last year, we brought you 'Rolling Back The Years', a stunning collectable magazine series which mapped the key events and social changes between 1950 and 2000.

In this series, called 'Irish Lives', we bring you another fascinating perspective on our past and present.

Over the next five weeks, 'Irish Lives' examines who we are and where we come from.

Our small island has nurtured a tightly knit race of people from many diverse environments. From island or farm, village, city or suburb, the Irish possess a keen sense of place, an emotional connection that informs and shapes almost every aspect of our lives.

Of course, whether it be working on the land, surviving on a remote island or holding down a job in a city factory, we had plenty of fun, too.

In this issue, we explore where we all come from -- discover island life, village life, farm life, tenement life and what it was like for those lucky enough to live in luxury.

There is also a special essay by 'The Butcher Boy' author Patrick McCabe -- read and enjoy his unique take on our past and how it colours who we are.

Next week, we examine how our work and home lives evolved, while part three focuses on love and family. In parts four and five, we look at the fun, games, holidays and outings we all enjoyed.

Q Feel free to send us your own photographic memories -- particularly of holidays and days out. We will publish the best ones in part five.

Email: rollingbacktheyears @independent.ie