Limerick in black and white

Black and white photographs from my rambles around Limerick in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Limerick O Connell Street shamrock boy

I've eventually archived a lot of my old negatives. It's always very satisfying to root through my old negatives as they bring back floods of memories. This particular collection is from time spent at Limerick School of Art & Design between 1989 -1991.

Borrowing a 35mm camera from college, I wandered around streets and alleys, exploring my new city. I came across Old Irishtown, which dates back to the Middle Ages. It was being cleared at the time to make way for a new Limerick. Very little of this historical area has been preserved, which is such a shame.

I loved living in Limerick, it was as raw as Dundalk, but it had a more relaxed and creative attitude. I found its characters, streets, buildings and even my dank flat refreshing. I spent most of my years living on Lower Mount Street, and my rent was €17.50 a week. It had no heating, variations of brown patterned wallpapers, manky carpets and rags for curtains, but I loved it. I did have the luxury of a portable black and white television with rabbit ears which I fiddled with to no avail. Some days it worked, and sometimes it didn't. It seemed to depend on the weather — a bit like myself.

I spoke to a friend about Limerick, and she said she went there on holiday as a young child and she always seems to remember it in black and white and I can see why.

A selecion of my Limerick photographs appear in Winter Papers 3 alongside text in response to the images by Kevin Barry - Scenes From The Analogue City
Joanne Betty Conlon's photographs on these pages have just been recently unearthed. They were taken during her time as an art student in Limerick city in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Kevin Barry's text is a response to the air and atmosphere of these photographs, that time, that place.
Winter Papers
Arena RTE Radio 1 Monday 13th November 2017
Arena marks the publication of 'Winter Papers, Volume 3', with Kevin Barry and guests
Limerick photograph triggers memories in RTE Drama on One - Digging for Fire
Limerick cityscape
Linocut of the back of Limerick houses with the River Shannon in the background
Limerick Places most pleasurable
I'd wander around Limerick on my own a lot at night. I only got approached once, and that was because he thought I was a hooker. He quickly moved off when I told him no joy.

Items from Limerick in black and white available in shop

Bonfire boys

Boy selling shamrock

Buddies doorway

Laneway boys

Limerick laneway

Limerick prams

Limerick school girls

Limerick smoke

Man chopping wood

The van

Through the arch

The big city

Bulldoze into the future

Limerick wall

Don't forget your shovel

The car

The Granary

Mad Monday

Visitor by the window