A time to kill?

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A rather callous title on this Hogan Wilson photo - "Killing Time at the Prison"! An army chaplain with Mass servers lounging about casually smoking while some poor devil(s) await execution. We've probably found this a bit late as last year was the anniversary and a lot of detail resurfaced regarding the brutality on both sides in the Irish Civil War. What can we find on the trio?

Photographer: W. D. Hogan

Collection: Hogan Wilson Collection

Date: Circa 1922

NLI Ref.: HOGW 146

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: 4131
munster hoganwilsoncollection wdhogan nationallibraryofireland killingtimeattheprison irishcivilwar chaplain massservers 1922

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  • profile


    • 07/Sep/2023 08:20:09

    Previously (four years ago!) - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/49207450736/in/album-72157627671536178/

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    Niall McAuley

    • 07/Sep/2023 08:33:11

    I think it is more likely to be Killing Time as in waiting about.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 07/Sep/2023 08:40:21

    HOGW 138 is Wilson again, in front of the same window with another officer. Looks like the same time of day, cigarette in hand, thumb in his belt. I think it is the same day - that one is dated Oct 1922.

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    • 07/Sep/2023 10:23:24

    “Captain Rev. Denis J. Wilson Chaplain to the forces. Army Headquarters. Michael Barracks. Co. Cork” catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000535057

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    Carol Maddock

    • 07/Sep/2023 14:56:41

    I'm inclined to agree with https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley that the title of this photo in the catalogue is more to do with waiting around. I know little about warfare, civil war or otherwise, but it strikes me it has ever been 95% hanging around / 5% frantic activity and terror. The titles that Denis J. Wilson gave to the photos in this Hogan-Wilson collection are not dispassionate cataloguer style at all, at all. This is from the press release that accompanied the NLI's 2010 exhibition, Witness to War...

    Rev. Wilson composed titles for the photographs, and this text is in bold on the exhibition captions. Any amendments are noted in square brackets, but for the most part his text has not been changed. Rev. Wilson’s bias in favour of the Irish nationalists in the War of Independence, and subsequently for the Free State of the Civil War, can be clearly seen in his choice of captions ... Hogan may also have been biased, or he may have been acting from commercial interests as the newspapers were carefully censored by the Free State government during the Civil War...

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    • 07/Sep/2023 16:41:20

    They're on a "smoke break" or something like that, not waiting for an execution me thinks.

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    • 08/Sep/2023 08:12:08

    the idiom killing time seems to have been in widespread use from 19th century so I agree with others that killing time, as in doing something to pass the time, seems the most plausible (and kindest) interpretation

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    • 09/Sep/2023 21:53:13

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/16176711@N02/ ‘Killing time’ had just one meaning when I grew up, just putting in or wasting time until something more interesting turned up.

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    • 10/Sep/2023 19:56:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/184711311@N04 yes same for me too