Bring flowers of the rarest...

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Where: Connaught, Galway, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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A charming photograph from the Clonbrock Collection today with a group of school girls and boys with large bunches of flowers and plants. It brought to mind the tradition on RTE Radio 1 of some presenter playing a recording of Father Sidney McEwan singing "Flowers of the rarest" on May 1st each year. Was this celebrating the harvest of was it a celebration of Bealtaine?

Photographers: Dillon Family

Contributors: Luke Gerald Dillon, Augusta Caroline Dillon

Collection: Clonbrock photographic Collection

Date: Circa 1904

NLI Ref: CLON928

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


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 5568
theclonbrockphotographiccollection lukegeralddillon baronclonbrock augustacarolinedillon baronessclonbrock dillonfamily nationallibraryofireland schoolchildren flowers harvest celebration pinafores

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Jul/2022 08:30:46

    The full title in the catalogue is School treat, Fanny Mason, 1904. Group of school girls dressed in pinafores holding floral bouquets older girl holds larger bouquet, perhaps winner of competition. There is a Fannie Mason aged 10 in the 1901 census of Clonbrock, a farmer's daughter. From the title, Fanny is in the photo holding a bouquet, but not the oldest with the largest bouquet. I would guess the girl smiling in the middle?

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    Black and White Fine Art

    • 25/Jul/2022 08:31:15


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    • 25/Jul/2022 09:43:22

    Great bonnets!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Jul/2022 09:49:26

    The catalogue has another shot, from the back of the crowd, of the judging: CLON927

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    • 25/Jul/2022 12:20:58

    Perhaps one of our horticultural contributors could identify the season from the (wild?) flowers. In any case, nothing to do with a Marian devotion, I suspect

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    • 25/Jul/2022 18:51:42

    Fanny Mason of Lurgan, Clonbrock, also appears in the 1911 census at the age of 21. She then marries Dugald William McPhee, a land steward from Co Meath, in Ahascragh on 20 April 1921

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Jul/2022 08:53:02

    Dugald McPhee married Sarah Bremble first in 1892, address in co. Galway, had a son Alexander, address in Ennis. Living in Ennis in the 1901 census. Wait, there is a Dugald Jr. more Fannie's age... and in 1911, here are the two, now spelled Dugal, living in Co. Galway