Ireland through the Lens of Colman Doyle

Thursday, 29 April 2010

- Launch of Colman Doyle Photography Exhibition at NUI Galway -
The James Hardiman Library is delighted to announce that it will host an exhibition of the photographs of Irish photographer Colman Doyle. The exhibition will be launched by John Quinn, writer and former broadcaster with RTÉ, on Wednesday, 5 May, 2010 at 5.30pm in the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. The exhibition of over 80 photographs is on loan from the National Library of Ireland, where Colman Doyle's large photographic collection is to be found. The collection of photographs includes portraits of politicians such as Charles J. Haughey, Jack Lynch and Eamon de Valera, and visiting dignitaries and heads of state including John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco. Colman Doyle is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Irish photographers of the twentieth century. He was probably Ireland's first documentary style photographer, noted for his portraits of political leaders and literary figures, as well as for his photographs of ordinary people throughout the country. As a sports photographer, he acquired a huge reputation for his action shots of GAA matches and horse races. John Quinn, who will launch the exhibition, is a well-known broadcaster who worked in RTÉ for 25 years and won various prestigious awards throughout that time. He collaborated with Colman Doyle on the book All Changed: Fifty Years of Photographing Ireland, in which they individually chronicled life in Ireland over 50 years in words and images respectively. The photographs on exhibition will also include fascinating vignettes of Irish life from the 1950s to the 1990s, covering topics such as changes in daily life in Ireland and on the Blasket Islands. Doyle also recorded daily life in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, a period during which he photographed behind-the-scenes images of political meetings and street violence. An added feature of the exhibition will be the film Colman Doyle Ábhar Machnaimh, first broadcast on TG4 in 2006. The film follows the photographer as he returns to capture images in West Kerry, reconnecting with his earliest work as a press photographer, and looks back at the astonishing collection of photographs taken by Colman Doyle over the decades. John Cox, NUI Galway Librarian, welcomed the exhibition: "This is a wonderful exhibition, with fascinating insights into Ireland's last five decades. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded by the National Library of Ireland to exhibit these photographs in Galway". Cox added: "The photographs in the exhibition cover 50 years of Irish life and we have many resources in the Library that connect to the era from a political, social, economic and historical point of view. These are all realms touched on in this comprehensive photographic exhibition". Following the launch the exhibition will run until Friday, 25 June on the ground floor of the James Hardiman Library and admission is free. Library opening hours are available to view at www.library.nuigalway.ie.
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