I just recently came across these lovely colourised photos from circa 1930 which depict life as it was for most folks in Connemara and in the Claddagh area of Galway Town.  What's striking, to me, is that the lifestyle shown would not have been much different even 100 years (or more) earlier!  The conditions of rural Ireland all the way up through the 1950s or 1960s would have been termed "third world" by today's standards, I think.

Perhaps these photos (and others) might help us keep a bit of perspective?  We hear about the current economic "crisis" and how bad things are -- and to be sure, the economy has seen better days.  But to liken the current state of things to the time of The Great Hunger of the 1840s, or even the time period shown in these photos?  No ... that's lacking perspective, in my opinion.  I hear people complaining about these things on their iPhones and Androids while guzzling €5 after €5 pint .  Just my thoughts ... take them for what they're worth.

Hope you enjoy the photos of a simpler, more contented (and probably happier) time in Ireland ...

Related Reading:

A 19th Century Account of the Claddagh

Chatting with Anne Ó Máille: 'Guardian' of Aran Knitting

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Tags: Claddagh, Galway, History of Ireland, Photographs, Photography, Preservation

Comment by kimberly on September 15, 2013 at 2:55pm

Wonderful photos!!! Some remind me of my own family during that time. They were Irish living in the US but looked so much like these folks. Poor folks but always with a smile on there faces. The one little girl reminds me of my mom when she was little...always those rosie cheeks. I have them she had them and so many people I met while I visited Ireland had them..Irish skin as some call it..THANKS FOR SHARING! 

Comment by Rose Maurer on September 16, 2013 at 6:16am

Thank you so much for sharing, and reminding us that despite tough times, these beautiful Irish children with rosy cheeks, fair skin, and very often auburn hair made and had their own carefree fun, often oblivious to the financial strain their parents were experiencing - and that's as it should be!

Comment by Bit Devine on September 16, 2013 at 12:26pm

What fabulous photos and an excellent reminder of how tough the times are not. What strikes me in all of these photos is the carefree innocence of the children. THe adults show teh burdens of life but the children don't have that realization yet.

Comment by Matt Purcell on October 14, 2013 at 6:23pm
I note that the images are known to have been shot around 1930 based on some of the features appearing in various photos.  From my comment they could have been taken a lot earlier.

I am aware housing conditions for some here in Ireland certainly were bad in the fifties and perhaps even later and I'm talking about the East of Ireland.

That said I should not be disputing the point you are making as I have made the same point myself with reference to the present recession.


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