John focuses in on '90s in latest archive book

John Cleary holding a newly printed copy of his latest book ‘As Time Goes By’.
Photo by Fergus Dennehy.
John Cleary holding a newly printed copy of his latest book ‘As Time Goes By’. Photo by Fergus Dennehy.

Fergus Dennehy

Life in Tralee and Kerry in the 1990s has been immortalised in a new book by one of Kerry's best-known photographers.

From an archaeological dig at Ardfert Cathedral, the official opening of the Blennerville Bridge to the construction of the iconic Aqua Dome in Tralee, John Cleary's new book covers all of the major events in the county from the early 1990s to the start of the 2000s. Entitled 'As Time Goes By' - named after a famous scene in Casablanca - John hopes that his new book will serve as a great trip down memory lane for both older and younger generations.

The book is, simply put, a look back at how life was back in Kerry during the 1990s and one that John hopes will serve as reminder of the wonderful people that the county has been lucky to have in the community over the past 30 years. 

"Everything that is published in the book, they are all press jobs. Every single picture in that book is a press job. There is a mixture of everything in there, it all depends on where I was sent that day," he laughed.

John said that the book is a great snapshot into the past not just for others reading it, but him as well when he was putting it all together.

"It's amazing that when I was picking out the photos for the book and doing the research for it, every single photo that I used I could remember the story behind each one and when the photo was taken," he continued.

"It can hopefully start a conversation between older and younger generations in families about how life used to be. It can bring them closer together," he added.

Some of John's own personal highlights from the book include photos taken during the £30m Tralee Flood Relief Scheme, where parts of Tralee Town Centre are photographed dug up; and photos that show how much the town itself has changed in the last 20 to 30 years.

The book - which John has dedicated to  the memory of his son, Robert - will be officially launched in the Kerry County Library at 7pm on Tuesday November 6. All are welcome to attend on the day, where the book will be on sale for €20.