Limerick in Black & White

Images from my rambles around Limerick in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

O'Connell Street shamrock boy

I'd been archiving my old negatives which was very satisfying as it always brings back floods of memories. This particular assortment is from my time spent in Limerick between 1989 -1991.

Borrowing a 35mm camera from college, I wandered around streets and alleys exploring the 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 about it. I found its characters, streets, buildings and dankness of my student accommodation inspiring in my own way. I lived on Lower Mount Street for a few years with a rent of €17.50 a week. It had no heating, variously patterned wallpaper, 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 me.

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

Winter Papers Contributors
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

All three volumes of Winter Papers are available at and all good bookshops.

Arena RTE Radio 1 Monday 13th November 2017
Arena had a special programme to mark the publication of the annual arts anthology 'Winter Papers, Volume 3', with Kevin Barry, Sarah Baume, Paul Lynch, Jessica Traynor and Mary Morrissy (published by Curlew Editions). Kevin Barry also discussed my photographs and the stories he wrote about Limerick at that time.

Limerick Cityscape
Linocut of the back of Limerick houses with the River Shannon in the background
Limerick Places Most pleasurable
Places most pleasurable - Lithograph of Betty taking one of her nightly walks over The Whistling Bridge
And I Watched It Change
And I watched it all change - Linocut of an elderly man watching the city go by