On the beach

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Where: Mayo, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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A scene from a beach, apparently in Achill, where the locals are gathered with tins, buckets, boats and nets. What is really unusual and demands some explanation is the man inspecting the nets while holding a gun? (Incidentally this is the first time I can recall uploading an "Imperial" sized image to this stream. I shall have to study it carefully to see the difference such a significant size will make.)

We are on Dooagh Beach, thanks Niall McAuley I think we can understand that the peopel we see had a hard existence, it is nice to see some of them playfully pose for the camera. BeachcomberAustralia provides a piece from the magnificent Trove website curated by our friends from The National Library of Australia where we see Michael Davitt pleading for the building of Piers and Harbours for the fishermen in the area, Davitt argues that at little expense the construction would save uncounted lives and increase fishing productivity. There is evidence of a small pier in the streetview, I wonder how long after this photo it was built?

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1880-1900

NLI Ref: L_IMP_1289

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 25943
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland achillisland achill comayo fishermen fishingcommunity fishingnets shotgun inspection boats currachs neamhógs dog dooaghbeach dooagh michaeldavitt fishing trovenlagovau nationallibraryofaustralia lawrencephotographcollection

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Jul/2018 08:30:29

    Streetview of Dooagh beach in Achill.

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    • 25/Jul/2018 08:33:31

    There is a Dog and a Comedian rowing a boat.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Jul/2018 08:35:51

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley If you keep on further down the road in your street view, the boats are still there!!

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    • 25/Jul/2018 08:46:44

    What a great photo. Looks like a very dangerous beach to be launching and landing currachs. Incredibly skillful oarsmen (and some women) in those days. Many thanks.

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    • 25/Jul/2018 08:49:39

    Looks a bit staged. Sitting into a currach while it is on rocks is and was a thing to be avoided, for obvious reasons.

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    domenico milella

    • 25/Jul/2018 09:49:34

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    • 25/Jul/2018 09:55:18

    At the time, c. 1890, it was far from sweetness and light on Achill Island. Via Trove this 1886 article, "On Starvation's Verge', about a report by Michael Davitt ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Davitt ) includes -

    ...The villages of Achill are mostly fishing villages, where once the kelp manufacture flourished, and the sea supplied the inhabitants with a great part of their sustenance. But now [1886] the manufacture is dead, and the wealth of the sea wasted, save in calmest, summer weather, for want of harbour accommodation. Mr. Davitt points out the places where the Government might, at small expense, provide piers and harbours, and save uncounted lives. But his suggestions will, we fear, be wasted in the British Parliament. ...
    From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/119446126 (Freemans Journal Sydney, 24/4/1886

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    • 25/Jul/2018 11:36:47

    Is that a gun/rifle or a cain? Man talking to the lady in the middle has a flat hat and a walking stick?

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    abandoned railways

    • 25/Jul/2018 12:37:16

    Definately a Flintrock weapon, and he also has a ball pouch on his back for powder and shot.

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    • 25/Jul/2018 14:15:11

    Perhaps a fowling piece rather than a rifle?

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    • 25/Jul/2018 16:42:21

    The firearm could have been for a seal cull - see this other Achill image for comparison: catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000564837

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    • 25/Jul/2018 20:14:32

    My first thought was that the guy with the gun was a kind of water bailiff examining the nets?

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    • 25/Jul/2018 21:12:51

    Fascinated by this - the sandy beach appeared again in 2017 after 33 years - www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/10/i-had-50-tourists-d... "... My great-great-grandfather used to blow a bugle on the beach to let the villagers know when the wrack was washed ashore so they could come down and get their share. ..."

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 26/Jul/2018 08:00:05

    good image

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    • 26/Aug/2022 09:17:13

    💡This photo is in the 1902 book 'On an Irish Jaunting-Car Through Donegal and Connemara' by S. G. Bayne. Title for the photo - "The Fishery, Achill Island. Slievemore in the distance. Host Sheridan with the rifle". Page 78. archive.org/details/onirishjauntingc00bayn/page/n134/mode... So photo must be before 1902 at the latest.