Living history… “Aspects of Maynooth” September 9, 2008Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, History, Social History.
As it happens I was in Maynooth this weekend and caught sight of an exhibition in Maynooth Town Library.
Entitled “Aspects of Maynooth” it was compiled for Heritage Week by Terry Nealon and Fergus White of the Local History Group.
It’s a fascinating overview of the history of the town concentrating on interviews with and reminiscences of ordinary people who lived and worked in it and eschewing the Carton House/Maynooth College view served up as representative of the place in the guide books, which while of importance often overshadows a reality of many thousands of lives spent there. There’s an history of the War of Independence and Civil War centred on the town. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area, and apparently it will be on display in the Library until the end of the month. I believe there may be plans to consolidate the work in some other form.
Anyhow, a number of images struck me as particularly interesting and I’ve been given permission to reproduce them here. They certainly give a sense of how life has changed in Ireland across the century.
First is an image of a group of school boys from c. 1914 – 1920.
If you click on the image you’ll see that they’re arrayed in a fairly eclectic mix of clothing and footwear. The boots are in most cases those of older boys or men, probably brothers or fathers. The jackets possibly are from American parcels sent by relatives in the United States.
It’s fascinating to move on some thirty or so years to another group of school children [click on image to see at higher resolution].
Note the bare feet of the two children in the front row on the left.
And here is an image [click on image to see at higher resolution], probably from the late 1950s of a Corpus Christi Procession through the main street. This would have been organised independently of the College but is indicative of the flavour of the times. The two men at the front holding the awning were former IRA members. Note the people kneeling at the side of the road.
Anyhow, it’s in the Library and open to viewing on Monday/Thursday 1 pm – 8 pm, Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday 9 am – 5 pm.