Rathkeale Remembers: Power of photographs hailed at West Limerick calendar launch

Norma Prendiville


Norma Prendiville

Members of Rathkeale Community Arts and friends at the launch of their 2019 calendar

Members of Rathkeale Community Arts and friends at the launch of their 2019 calendar

PHOTOGRAPHS tell us so much about life as it was lived in the past, West Limerick 102 broadcaster and history enthusiast, Sheila O’Regan said when she launched the Rathkeale Remembers calendar this week.

But she questioned whether, in the digital age, today’s photos are as valued as they once were. “We take so many photos nowadays but I wonder do we cherish them as much anymore,” she said. “It’s all very instant now,

The Rathkeale Remembers calendar features different photographs of people and events from Rathkeale’s past  is an annual production by the Rathkeale Community Arts Group.

“When I looked through this collection of photographs, I was reminded of the power of photography,” Ms O’Regan said.

“Photos tell us so much about lives past: the fashions, the styles, the men in suits, hats, belted coats, hobbies, lifestyles, jobs careers,” she continued.

Photos are also a jumping off point, she noted. “Photos are a talking point, prompting recollection, remembrance, reminding us of another time and recalling different people,times, family and friends.”

She recalled her own mother’s great enthusiasm for taking photos and vividly related the rituals associated with it and the excitement. “There were the Kodak rolls of film, spooling them into the camera, away from light,” she reminded people.  “Then when the film was used, off to the chemist to be sent off to be developed and then the anticipation when the photos were to be picked up.” Her mother, she said, would have embraced digital photography heartily, she declared.

“Rathkeale Remembers, It’s a great title, a great collection of photos,” she said, “It is a snapshot of a community enjoying life and participating in the everyday and  the special days of their lives.”

Rathkeale Remembers is now on sale in local shops priced at €6 or two for €10.