Remarkable Old Photos of Ireland

This wonderful selection of photographs illustrates Ireland at the very start of the 20th century. Concentrated in Co. Galway, the images depict thatched cottages, shawl clad women, small farms and barefoot children. Indeed, the poverty shown in some of the photos is striking. All of the pictures are taken from the United States Library of Congress collections and are public domain. I hope you enjoy them.

thatched Irish cottage

Thatched cottages, location uncertain, 1901


the claddagh

The Claddagh, Co. Galway city, 1901


old photo monaghan

Country school, Co. Monaghan, 1900


old photo Galway

Street vendors, The Quays, Galway city, 1902


old photo galway city

The Claddagh, Galway city

old photo claddagh

The Claddagh, Galway city, 1901


old photo shop street galway

Shop Street, Galway city, 1903


old irish photo

Spinning, possibly Donegal, 1907


old photo achill

Achill island woman, 1903


old irish man

Old man, Co. Galway , 1901


old Irish farm

Irish cottage scene, location uncertain, 1907


irish peasants

Farm scene, location uncertain, 1902



Man and cart, 1901


old ireland

Jaunting car, location uncertain, 1896


old irish cottage

Thatched cottage, Cushendall, Co. Antrim, 1903



Cattle market, Galway city, 1901



‘A letter from America’, 1902


cutting turf

Cutting turf, Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon, 1903



Antrim, 1902



Irish cottage scene, location uncertain, 1907



Barefoot children, Galway city, 1904



High Street, Galway city, 1901



Inside an Irish cabin, 1904



Donegal cottage scene, 1903



Street vendors, Cork city, 1905


Carry turf, Dooagh village Achill Island, Mayo, 1903

Carry turf, Dooagh village Achill Island, Mayo, 1903


Thatched cottage, Co. Armagh, 1903


Barefoot boys, the Claddagh, Galway city, 1903

Barefoot boys, The Claddagh, Galway city, 1903



Sheep fair, Killarney, Co. Kerry

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8 Responses to Remarkable Old Photos of Ireland

  1. Eamonn January 26, 2016 at 6:02 am #

    Great……never seen photos like these …….but can relate to all that my parents chats about the old time ………under English rule and depravitation

  2. Anne Johnson February 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Wonderful I wonder if the pic of women with foot in water on Achill Is is next to what is now called the deserted village and if that is Slievemore Mt in background. Anyone who might know Teresa McDonald founder of Achill Field school of Aracheology could bring this to her attention or U of Galway that runs her program now. Thanks so much Anne J

    • Ann Murphy June 4, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

      I thought it was that village too!! Looks just like it!

  3. Rich April 29, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Just amazing stuff
    Thank you

  4. Nancy Marshall June 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    I could be wrong but it looks like the photo Man & cart, 1901 and the photo Cattle market, Galway city, 1901 have the same buildings in the background. Love old photos!

  5. Linda June 6, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    What a fantastic thing to come in to work and find. I love the old photos and those faces have a thousand tales to tell! Thanks Richard. A great glimpse into our history.

  6. Salman Rashid June 8, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    What a wonderfully fascinating collection of images. I am certain most of these have scarcely ever been seen. Thankful to whoever put them together and published them.

  7. Pat Garidel September 15, 2016 at 1:43 am #


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