Thursday 18 January 2018

Hatches, matches and dispatches reveal our history

Sabina and Micheal D Higgins with their newborn twins John and Michael Jnr
Sabina and Micheal D Higgins with their newborn twins John and Michael Jnr
Mrs Mary Kinch holding her new baby son, Anthony Michael, who weighed 17 pounds and 3 ounces at birth
Woman examining baby as part of nursing program

Ciaran Byrne

BIRTHS, marriages and deaths – for so long they were the only pillars of Irish life.

In part three of our fascinating pictorial series Irish Lives, we take a look back into our recent history through the picture vaults of the Irish Independent, where the rich story of modern Ireland is recorded in remarkable detail.

Among the images are those which have marked the happiest – and saddest - days of our lives.

The arrival of a new baby has always been given the attention such a happy occasion deserves and in part three we explore over 100 years of childbirth through the eyes of children, parents and midwives.

We also look at how the Irish wedding has evolved. Bairbre Power reminds us how it was before the days of Celtic Tiger bling when weddings were joyous but simple affairs and the highlight was a glass of Babycham.

Of course the whole process of dating and courting played a key role and we look at how times have changed in terms of how men and women meet each other.

In this week’s 'Irish Lives' we also examine the place of the Irish funeral, our tradition of waking and other customs that have continued to this day.

Irish Independent photographers were frequently witnesses to these great events and their work features in this issue. With wonderful images from our archives, you can't afford to miss 'Irish Lives' - every Saturday.

* Feel free to send us your holiday picture memories of life in Ireland – and get a chance to win a fantastic Canon camera.

We will publish the best ones in part five of the series.

The email address is


"Irish Lives",
27-32 Talbot Street,
Dublin 1.

Please note that photos cannot be returned. For full terms and conditions, see

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