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A portrait of Old Ireland

1960, New York
Brendan Behan, born in Dublin in 1923, is one of Ireland’s best-known writers, particularly noted for his satire and powerful political commentary. Behan landed in New York for the Broadway premiere of The Hostage in September 1960 holding a bottle of milk and telling reporters he was on the wagon. The play was a hit and, other than Behan taking to the stage drunk at the Cort Theatre, the trip was a success. He is pictured here with legendary American actor and comedian Jackie Gleason in Gleason’s dressing room at his show Take Me Along.

Old Ireland in Colour was the biggest book in Ireland last year selling 50,000 copies in ten weeks, and the only Irish book last year to have sales worth over €1m. 

c.1900, Fastnet Rock, Co. Cork

Transatlantic pilots Alcock and Brown (1919).

A collection of historical colourised images of Irish life, the result of a collaboration between NUIG academic John Breslin and historian Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, Old Ireland in Colour won the An Post Irish Book Award for Best Irish-Published Book.

20 September 1910, Coolmore, Fermoy, Co. Cork.
24 June 1916, Co. Waterford

It also captured the imagination and featured in every national newspaper, on The Late Late Show, on Ryan Tubridy’s radio show. It even made the homepage of CNN.

Although the initial print run was only 5,000, 80,000 copies have now been sold. 

29 June 1922, Dublin
One of thirteen armoured cars given to the National Army by the British government, ‘The Big Fella’ is seen here outside Messrs H. Ferguson Ltd. During a raid on the premises by anti-Treaty soldiers, they were surrounded by Free State troops and Commandant Leo Henderson was captured.
1921, St Patrick’s Street

Merrion Press have now returned with Old Ireland in Colour 2 which delves even deeper into Ireland’s historical archives to uncover captivating photographic gems to bring to life using their unique blend of cutting-edge technology, historical research and expert colourisation.

Much like its predecessor, the book features a fascinating collection of images covering themes such as politics and revolution, childhood, working life, and sport and leisure.

c.1911, Belfast
Built in Belfast, the RMS Olympic was the lead ship of the White Star Line’s trio of Olympic-class liners.
Unlike Titanic and Britannic, Olympic had a mostly successful career spanning twenty- four years from 1911 to 1935.

Old Ireland in Colour 2 further celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the Irish people, from all walks of life, with all thirty-two counties represented across the full-colour title.

With over 150 images, once again accompanied by insightful captions, the book is a portrait of life in Ireland throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

1910, Strangford, Co. Down

Documenting everything from the chaos of the revolutionary period to the simple beauty of the islands, from the iconic to the domestic, there is something new and inspiring jumping out from every single page.

Old Ireland in Colour 2 is published by the Merrion Press.

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The book can be ordered by clicking here.










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