Old Ireland in colour: Fascinating images show life in the 19th and 20th centuries with hurling teams, an early rollercoaster and a farm cottage smashed up by an angry landlord
- The poignant images, taken between 1860 and 1960, have been painstakingly changed from black-and-white photographs by photographer and artist Rob Cross
- In one photograph, two men are seen enjoying a rollercoaster ride in the seaside resort town of Newcastle
- Another 1888 photograph shows the sheer destruction caused by a battering ram on a house after an angry landlord decided to evict his tenant Mathias McGrath
Newly colourised photos have ‘turned a light switch on history’ by showing how Ireland has changed over the course of a hundred years.
The poignant images, taken between 1860 and 1960, have been painstakingly changed from black-and-white photographs by author and artist Rob Cross.
In one photograph, two men are seen enjoying a rollercoaster ride in the small seaside resort town of Newcastle on County Down, Northern Ireland, while another shows the Tipperary Hurling Team at Clonmel Train Station in August 1910.
One photograph, taken in July 1888 by Robert French, shows the sheer destruction caused by a battering ram on a house after an angry landlord decided to evict his tenant Mathias McGrath.
The collection of images have been released as part of a book, which covers the key moments such as turbulent history of all 32 counties of Ireland and the Irish War of Independence, called The Colour of Ireland: County by County 1860-1960 by Rob Cross.
Mr Cross, who is originally from Limerick, told Ireland AM: ‘I always wanted to get people passionate about the heritage and basically to preserve it. I wanted to bring black and white photographs to life, basically turn a light switch on history.’
The Tipperary hurling team are pictured in August 1910 outside the Clonmel Train Station. Rob Cross said the man at the centre of the middle row is the famous Tom Semple, for whom Semple Stadium in Thurles was named after. Hurling is an ancient Gaelic sport which combines aspects of American football, hockey and cricket, with players aiming to hit a ball over a goal using an ash stick
This photograph, taken in July 1888 by Robert French shows the sheer destruction caused by a battering ram on a house in Moyasta, Clare, where Irishman Mathias Magrath lived in 1888. The landlord decided to evict tenant Mr Magrath and his family after they were unable to meet the demands of new high rents at the time. When Mr MaGrath begged the landlord to let his family stay in their home while they tried to find money, the landlord took a battering ram to the wall to force them out
This photograph, taken in August 1921, shows a Dáil Éireann meeting in the Mansion House on Dawson Street in Dublin. They were debating treaty proposals by the British, with the sessions centered around negotiating a framework for the meetings in London which eventually delivered the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. In the centre of the image, sat on the red couch – found to the left of the wooden table – is Arthur Griffith. His left arm is draped over the couch armrest. Griffith founded the political party Sinn Féin and he led the Irish delegation at the negotiations that produced the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty
A group of women are seen playing in the water at the Dún Laoghaire Baths in 1925. At the time, it was called the Royal Victorian Baths, and was constructed in 1943 before closing in the 1990s. One girl, who is sat on the side of the pool to the left in a black swimming costume, can be seen with goose bumps and shivering. In the background, you can see a girl trying to push her friend in the water, while a woman is seen sitting on what appears to be an inflatable horse by the fountain
In one photograph, two men are seen enjoying a rollercoaster ride in the small seaside resort town of Newcastle on County Down, Northern Ireland, in 1890. The Rack & Pinion Switchback Rollercoaster was a great hit among locals and tourists at the time. But now, nearly 150 years on, the rollercoaster no longer exists – and instead there are open fields and a helipad
A group of tourists can be seen sat on a wall enjoying their picnic lunch near where the Gearhameen River flows into the Upper Lake at Killarney, County Kerry, in 1897. The lakes of Killarney are still a popular destination for tourists and fishing enthusiasts as it has some of the best salmon and brown trout waters in Ireland
One of the pictures shows how the world of journalism used to look, with dedicated typesetters working on linotype machines at the Waterford News in Waterford 1938. The scene shows what appears to be organised chaos as three typsetters are seen working. The newspaper was set up in 1848 and is still going strong as the Waterford News and Star in print and online. The original black and white photo forms part of The Poole Photographic Collection in the National Library of Ireland
This photograph shows the fishery on Dooagh Beach in Achill, County Mayo. The photograph, taken at some stage between 1880 and 1900, shows men, women and children on the beach. Some children and men are seen sat in fishing boats as they are carried to the water, while other men are seen buying fish. Women are seen sat on the floor after cleaning the fish ready to be sold. The Slievemore (An Sliabh Mór) mountain is seen in the background
A woman and a girl are seen wrapped up in their shawls as they walk their donkey through the streets in the distrct of Connemara in County Galway in the 1890s. The district’s coastline was filled with tiny coves, bays and fishing villages. The donkey is seen carrying two wicker baskets. It is unclear what the donkey is carrying, but at the time donkeys would be used to ship corn, fish and kelp
This scenic photograph from the 1980s shows the towns of Tinnahinch and Graiguenamanagh ‘Gráig na Manach’ (village of the monks) which are located on the River Barrow in County Carlow and Kilkenny. The town is home to Duiske Abbey.
This photograph shows the bustling Belfast High Street, taken in 1906 by Robert French. Rob Cross said he loves ‘a lot of things about this photo’. He said: ‘Firstly, in 1941, it was blitzed in World War II. So a lot of the buildings pictured here are gone.’ In the background, there is the sandstone Albert Memorial Clock Tower which was completed in 1869 and stands at 34.4 metres tall
This photgraph shows The Diamond in Derry in 1907. The photograph features the statue of Sir Robert Ferguson by sculptor John E Jones which was erected in 1863 and relocated to Brooke Park in 1927.
This 1885 photograph was taken at Parsonstown in County Offaly. In the early 1840s, William Parsons, the 3rd Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world
This photograph, from the 1980s and taken by Robert Stawell, features fearless construction workers working ont he Fastnet Lighthouse on the remote Fastnet Rock eight miles off the coast of Cork in the Atlantic Ocean. The Fastnet Lighthouse is a 54m high lighthouse and is located on the most southerly point of Ireland
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