FOUR women sitting against an automobile at Gurrane Races, Tuam, Dunmore Road, in November 1926.

Looking back has a future

Photos are a precious insight into family and social history

WE’VE all got boxes of photos stashed away, waiting for us to stumble over while searching for the Christmas baubles. Sifting through prints of the past can open the emotion floodgates and leave us feeling loved, lonesome or just laughing.

Photos can also get lost in time, forgotten, thrown out or missed in a house move; no one left to remember the moment or recognise the face.

We don’t know how a box of photo negatives taken in Tuam ended up in one of Dublin’s socialite hubs or who took them. We do know that they were fortunately picked up at an auction by a Galwegian who has a passion for photos from the past.

Over 100 black and white negatives taken in Tuam in 1925 and 1926 were among six books of photos that came from Café en Seine in Dublin.

The collection was purchased by someone in England and put up for sale sometime later on eBay, where they caught the eye of John Breslin – not a historian or a photographer, but a Professor in NUI Galway, whose hobby came close to work during the Covid pandemic.

John, who lives in Oughterard, is a Personal Professor in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway. He is also co-author of the hugely popular Ireland in Colour books, which have given a unique insight into parts of Irish history through their innovative use and twist given to archive photographs.

For more, check out this week’s Tuam Herald or log onto our digital edition HERE