Photos of Ireland in the 1930s: The past is a foreign country


This amazing collection of colourised photographs was taken by an American photographer Branson DeCou (1892-1941) between 1932 and 1935.  DeCou spent nearly thirty years travelling the world and his images of Ireland give us a rare glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared. His fantastic catalogue of photos is now stored at the University of California, Santa Cruz where they can be accessed digitally here. The photos were originally taken in black and white and colour was then added by DeCou with aniline ink.

Connemara woman

Connemara woman

Connemara men

Connemara men


Bringing the turf home, Connemara

Blacksmith/wheel wright, Connemara

Co. Clare

Creamery, Co. Kerry

Digging turf, Kiltoom, Co. Kerry

Nolan’s pub, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Chimney sweep, Tralee

Ladies selling vegetables, Tralee

Macroom, Co. Cork

Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

 Carpenter at work, Adare, Co. Limerick

Cottage garden, Adare, Co. Limerick

 The Treaty Stone, Limerick city

 School children, Co. Kerry

 Cattle drover, Hanlon’s corner, Dublin city

 Bringing the hay home, Co. Dublin

 Delivering kegs of guinness, Dublin city

 Feeding the hens, Co. Donegal

Arklow harbour, Co. Wicklow

 Cottage, Co. Mayo

The Claddagh, Galway city

Clothes drying, The Claddagh, Galway city

Inside a Claddagh cottage

 St. Anne’s church, Cork city

Georgian doors, Merrion Square, Dublin

 St. Laurence’s gate, Drogheda, Co. Louth

 Bunratty castle, Co. Clare

Monasterboice, Co. Louth

Glendalough, Co. Wickow

Carrickfergus castle

St. Patrick’s cross, Cashel, Co. Tipperary


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