Sunday 17 December 2017

Exhibition captures old Dundalk from a new angle

An exhibition looking at Dundalk's past and present, entitled 'Our Town, My Story', by local photographer Ken Finegan opens in the County Museum on Friday evening.

Ken has selected chosen over 50 old photos of Dundalk, including public buildings, churches, schools and factories, and has re-photographed them, along with people with a special connection to the location.

Among those featured is Martin Naughton, of Glen Dimplex who is pictured in front of Ice House Hill, just a few steps from his Laurels home, and where a statue in honour of his father was erected after the park was restored with funding from the Naughton Foundation.

'I had to be sure the new images were taken as close to the exact spot as the older photograph,' said Ken. 'Years may have passed and areas at first glance may seem completely different but then you notice a tree, or a railing, or a building in the background which is also in the older photograph. This search for clues involved counting railings or window frames or bricks but it was all worthwhile for the very accurate results.'

The exhibition has turned up some fascinating stories, according to Ken.

'I've been looking at Dundalk's industries, well known buildings and popular locations. The people that are featured in the photographs all have links with the location. They all have their own memories of the location, and have been sharing their stories and recollections. Some of the stories are amazing and all go to provide a vital piece of Dundalk's history,' adds Ken.

Museum Curator, Brian Walsh, praised Ken's work and said that the exhibition has potential for future expansion. He also noted that this exhibition would mark a first for the museum: 'For the first time in the County Museum, we are introducing QR codes on a number of the exhibition pieces. People can scan the QR code with their phones and have access to interviews with the person in the photograph about their connection with the area.'

The exhibition will be officially opened by Tommy Graham of History Ireland this Friday, July 19, at 5.30 p.m. in the County Museum. The exhibition will run until the end of August.

The Argus

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