Having a father who’s not only a prominent Dublin merchant tailor in the early 1900s but also a pioneering photographer meant the Conan family left behind a rather fine collection of holiday snaps.
And with Alexander Conan doing pretty darn well financially, this upper-class Dublin family travelled extensively, covering much of Ireland, and on to Scotland, England and Belgium too.
Bought by the National Library of Ireland in 2002, from Gerry and Hilary Kennedy of County Mayo (Gerry being Alexander’s grandson), it’s worth noting that Mr Conan was also the Secretary of the Photographic Society of Ireland.
We’ve included a selection of the 479 non-commercial black & white photographs that largely chart the Conan family’s excursions, concentrating, naturally enough, on their trips close to Wicklow 4. The old cottage leading the gallery below was taken just 50 yards or so from Kilcoole beach, way, way back in 1905.
We had convinced ourselves that the house, left, was Churchview on Greystones’ Church Road, but, it’s more likely to be the Conan family home in Dalkey. As for the happy donkey rides, they’re once again Kilcoole, whilst Kilmacanogue gets two landscape portraits here, plus days out in Devil’s Glen [topright], Rocky Valley [above] and Lough Bray [bottom right] are also included.
Given our recent interview with local historian Rosemary Raughter, and the pivotal confrontation on Greystones pier back in October 1910, it’s fascinating to see the suffragette protest that same year at Dun Laoghaire pier in the collection below.
You can check out Alexander Canon biography, and pics, on the National Library of Ireland website here. In the meantime, let’s go way, way back…
Kilcoole home Sea Road 1905
Donkey Ride In Kilcoole 1901
And another donkey ride in Kilcoole 1901
Dalkey 23rd March 1908
Kilmacanogue 7th March 1910 #1
Kilmacanogue 7th March 1910 #2
Suffragettes at Dun Laoghaire Pier 1910
Puck’s Castle, Rathmichael 20th March 2010
You can go deep into Greystones’ own history right about here.
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