Limerick’s past and present collide on social media

Richard Harris and friends (1969)

Limerick photo 1910
Patrick and Josephine Henn (1910)

A FACEBOOK page dedicated to finding and publishing little known images of Limerick life is creating quite a stir in social media circles at home and abroad.

Limerick History Gazette has already recruited10,000 members and collected more than 5,000 images that are all posted and freely available to view on its page.

Archive creator Gerry Hannan, known from his broadcasting days in Limerick and author of four books, returned to Mary Immaculate College to study History and Media and graduated in 2014.

He is now using the skills he acquired to develop and complete the project. He is currently doing a Masters Degree Course in International Entrepreneurship Management at the Kemmy Business School in the University of Limerick and this project forms the basis of his Master’s dissertation.

Fellow Limerick man and local history enthusiast Terence Keehan Jnr is assisting Gerry with the project.

Hannan set about creating the archive as recently as last January and in its first few weeks the idea captured the imagination of thousands of Limerick people who became members and are now contributing images to the archive.

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He believes that the best photographs to capture history are the random shots ordinary people take at home with members of their own families or at family events.

He recalled as a child going to visit a deceased grand aunt’s home in Kildare and finding some very old photographs tucked away which were of great historical importance.

Lynch family, Wallers Well (1900)
Lynch family, Wallers Well (1900)

“From that moment on, I wondered how many such images are actually In existence and how can they be gathered and archived for posterity,” Gerry told the Limerick Post.

“In this new age of social media, the work involved in crowd sourcing has been dramatically eased and Facebook offers us a significant tool to pursue any endeavour that demands massive public cooperation,” he added.

The long-term plan for Limerick History Gazette is to gather 20,000 previously unpublished images of Limerick in the 20th Century. These images will then be captioned, indexed, archived and freely available online for future generations.

He hopes the project will be completed for Limerick 2020 and will then be gifted in its entirety to the people of Limerick.

He is appealing to local people to engage with Limerick History Gazette and to become active members and post photographs that will otherwise fade away into oblivion.

“Our ultimate aim is to provide future generations of Limerick people, wherever they may be in the world, with a significant archive of what life was like for our parents, and grandparents in their native city,” he explained.


Richard Harris and friends (1969)
Richard Harris and friends (1969)

For more details visit Limerick History Gazette on Facebook.

by Alan Jacques

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