Monday 22 January 2018

Wartime portraits will be on display at library


john barry
john barry

eleven wartime portraits of Wexford people will be on display in the town library from Tuesday (September 6 to October 16) the pictures drawn from an exhibition 'Portraits of the Invisible' at the National Library of Ireland.

The project started with a photograph or a story of a family member involved in World War One. In May 2014, in association with the National Library, Wexford Library hosted a World War One road show.

Families were invited to have personal items connected to the Great War catalogued and digitised and to have the digitised items added to the Europeana online archive (

It was an opportunity to remember their family members, and to bring their story to the wider world.

The National Library, in partnership with the British Embassy, hosted an exhibition entitled 'Portraits of the Invisible' in the National Photographic Archive based on photographs collected during the road shows.

Eleven Wexford stories from the World War One roadshow were selected for inclusion in the exhibition. The exhibition showcased the photographs collected during road shows: images of soldiers and medics, nurses and stretcher bearers, drivers and cyclists, sailors and pilots, are accompanied by the stories their families have treasured for generations.

The Wexford exhibition will be formally launched by Councillor Frank Staples, Chairman of the Borough District of Wexford on Thursday (September 8) at 7 p.m. and the National Library will hand the portraits back to their family members at a ceremony in the library on October 25.

The names of those featured in the exhibition are: John Barry, David L Condon, Edward RR Orpen, Ella Brigid McCarthy, Frank Forde, Joseph and William Kendrick, James Ryan, Michael Whelan, Philip Doyle, Michael Kennedy and Minnie Mason.

Senior Executive Librarian, Sinead O'Gorman said, the World War One archiving day was a wonderful event, bringing to life many family stories of World War One.

'The library and families involved were thrilled when 11 Wexford photographs were selected for the 'Portraits of the Invisible' exhibition in Dublin. It is an honour to host an exhibition of the Wexford portraits in Wexford Library and fitting that they will be presented back to their families at the close of the exhibition.'

In association with the exhibition, the library is hosting a number of lectures on World War One. On Thursday, following the launch, Dr David Murphy from NUI Maynooth will give a lecture entitled 'Ireland and the Battle of the Somme, 1916'.

On Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. Dr Mary McAuliffe, from UCD will give a lecture entitled 'Irish Women and Resistance to War, 1914-1918: Anti-conscription and Pacifism.'

This lecture will look at the response of Irish women to the war, and instances of resistance to war among the small but vocal pacifist movement of first wave suffrage campaigners and the broader anti-conscription movement of nationalist women in Cumann na mBan and the Irish Citizen Army. All events are free to attend and booking can be made by phoning Wexford Library at 053 9196573

Wexford People

Promoted Links