Thursday, January 5, 2012

Photos Leinster Arms Hotel Yard / Athy Carnival Scene

Photographs help to create long lost memories and preserve views of the past.  The photographs with this week’s Eye confirm this, as well as being an eloquent statement of the importance of photographs in recording places, events and people of yesteryear.

The first photograph shows the garage and yard belonging to the Leinster Arms Hotel which in the days before motor cars were stables for visitor’s horses and carriages.  The substantial complex was located in Leinster Street directly opposite the hotel and the present Baronessa Shop occupies what was the front portion of the yard.  In the background can be seen the top of the malting kiln forming part of the maltings which fronted onto Stanhope Street.  I cannot recall if the row of houses on the right hand side of the hotel yard were occupied by hotel staff or tenanted by local families.  Perhaps someone will be able to help me answer that question. 

The second photograph shows a group of locals standing around what we all knew as ‘swing boats’.  That simple popular entertainment was one of the main stays of the annual carnivals which were an important part of community leisure and entertainment up to recent decades.  I recognise a number of those photographed but will hold back identifying any of them to give my readers an opportunity to do so.  Let me know if you can identify anyone in the photograph and the year of the carnival and where it was held.  There are a number of possible locations including the field next to the Dominican Church, the Fairgreen, the People’s Park and Geraldine Park.

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