"He always had a dog with him"

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Where: Kerry, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1960

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Thought I'd surprise you with a colour photograph today, as we haven't had one for ages. So here's one very contented looking man and his dog, working alongside the Gallarus Oratory on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula in Kerry. Any and all information on the Oratory would be gratefully received...

It took a long time to put a name to the laughing face in another of our Tilbrook photos. I thought anyone who knew this man would be able to identify him, and hoped that our roving Kerry reporter Mossy Carey might get on the case, and he did:
"This is Seamus Johnson, uncle of Seamus Kelliher, who has confirmed the identity. He maintained the oratory during his lifetime."

Mossy Carey was almost beaten to the draw by Maire Oakes over on our Facebook page, who was the very first to identify Seamus. But then along came our very favourite identifier - a family member. Patrick Johnson aka Paddyj1325 says:
Hi.
Just heard from my brother and 2 of my sisters. They confirmed that it is indeed my Uncle Jim. I never met him but they each did when they went back over for visits.
My brother Sean, who got to spend a summer with him one year at the farm, says this:
"Yup, that is him. Cool picture. He always had a dog with him.
He was a very kind and gentle man. Much quieter than Da. He was paid by the government to be the caretaker of that ancient church.
He used to stand up at the oratory and tell people the history of the place. People used to think he worked there and they would tip him.
One last unknown fact. The history books say the church is the same as it was 1,000 years ago, untouched by man. WRONG!
The stones across the top were put there by Dad’s Father to keep the rain out because he kept sheep in there. Originally the top was open to let light in.
Uncle Jim used to have a very old picture of the place and you could see someone added a top row.
Facts you can’t find in a book.
"

Photographer: Richard Tilbrook

Collection: Tilbrook Photographic Collection

Date: Around 1960

NLI Ref.: TIL617

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

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 92086
gallarusoratory séipéilínghallarais dinglepeninsula kerry ireland munster dog working shovel pipe smoking cap bucket 1960 1960s sixties richardtilbrook ballynana seamusjohnson nationallibraryofireland peopleidentified jimjohnson tilbrookphotographiccollection 20thcentury

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  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:00:47

    Street View

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:01:22

    Here's the Phone No. [!] - +353 64 6632402 www.heritageireland.ie/en/South-West/GallarusCastleandOra...

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    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:05:04

    OSI

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:07:11

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thanks Danny! And a dog for you too - bonus.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:12:12

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Thanks for the dog. Fantastic Picture.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:15:40

    The dog has the same smile as The Fisherman Tadhg Devane - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/6122873885/

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:52:06

    I wonder what he's up to, with a shovel and a zinc bucket?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 09:59:31

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] How do you know it's zinc?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:03:55

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland It's a galvanized bucket. It's mild steel electroplated with zinc.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:06:36

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:08:21

    Do we think he's an OPW bod, cleaning the place up, or is he disinterring the bodies before the archeologists/police arrive?

  • profile

    martindevlin

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:16:56

    Looking at the angle of the shovel he is using it to cut out the brier bush on the other side of the stone wall. But on the other hand it is probably a posed shot. But the real question is how many Kerry men would wear a pink shirt matched with a light pink zip neck jumper ?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:21:58

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] He's not cutting with it - his right hand grip is wrong.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:37:23

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I'd guess the zippy jumper started out as red and has been exposed for many summers to the Kerry sun .

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:38:56

    I would suspect he would be more Kerry County Council rather than OPW, this is from a time when the Councils had real local revenue and clout.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:45:23

    I wonder can we get a photo of the KCC works choir or christmas party or something and see if he's in it?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:48:56

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Could he not just have been a local farmer? How long has the Oratory been looked after by the OPW?

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:53:16

    Committee on Finance. - Vote 8—Public Works and Buildings. Thursday, 13 November 1969 Mr. Begley: The Board of Works should reexamine Gallarus Oratory. It is one of the finest oratories in Western Europe and it is about time a caretaker was appointed. Year after year tourists can be seen armed with coal chisels chipping off bits of the walls and taking them away. That should be stopped. There should be somebody on duty during the tourist season at all times. I am told that the man on whose land the oratory stands has been doing his best to hunt these people. He has chased many of them away and the poor man wound up in court because he told somebody to get off - (Edit: DM8 Could this be our Man??) . Tourists should not be allowed to climb up on the oratory. It is an old building and, sad to relate, water is coming through the roof. This 966 undoubtedly has been caused by tourists climbing up on it and chipping stones from it. The whole building is in danger of coming down. I hope the Board of Works will step up their vigil there because this building has been there for many years and we should ensure that it will be there for many more.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 10:56:04

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Wow, so pre-OPW in this photo (circa 1960). Could this be the "man on whose land the oratory stands"??

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 11:01:25

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Could Be

  • profile

    Joefuz

    • 27/Feb/2013 13:10:54

    Looking at the way he's holding the shovel, I'd say he's about to poke the dog with it, an idea he seems to find amusing.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 14:44:41

    Well, having read this archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/arch-769-1..., it seems that the most that can be claimed is that the oldest the photo could be is about 1300 years old, but how old the man and dog are cannot be ascertained, as we have no way of knowing their ages when the photo was taken.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 15:07:06

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Are you sure the dating of the photo is correct? There's a signload of writing on a free standing post behind the dog which would seem a bit unusual for a structure not in public ownership.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 15:15:00

    Unless it says "Trespassers will be hit with a shovel", of course.

  • profile

    Seuss.

    • 27/Feb/2013 15:38:30

    Will no one mention Seamus Heaney? Whose visit was within a few years?

    You can still feel the community pack This place: it’s like going into a turfstack, A core of old dark walled up with stone A yard thick. When you’re in it alone, You might have dropped, a reduced creature, To the heart of the globe. No worshipper Would leap up to his God off this floor. Founded there like heroes in a barrow, They sought themselves in the eye of their King Under the black weight of their own breathing. And how he smiled on them as out they came, The sea a censer and the grass a flame.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 15:48:37

    Kerryman 07 June 2007 Meanwhile, the OPW spokesman explained that the State has come to an arrangement with the Kelliher family who own the lands around Gallarus Oratory and operate the visitor centre. This arrangement allows the centre to charge for services provided, such as parking facilities and the use of toilets. The spokesperson said that new signposting will be erected directing the public to the centre as being the entrance to the monument. However, the public will continue to have right of free access from the small carpark, the spokesman said. - See more at: www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/news/tourist-shocke...

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 16:06:45

    I would bet a 1960's florin that this man is a Kelliher!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 16:26:30

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Fairly sure about the date, yes.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2013 16:26:55

    Lots of Kellihers in Ballynana - what a great placename. Census 1911

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2013 16:27:24

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Well thankfully you mentioned Seamus Heaney!

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 16:55:38

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Good find. That explains the sign and potentialy identifies the shoveller.

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 27/Feb/2013 18:43:42

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ It's not electroplated! It's "hot dipped" a mild steel bucket is dipped in a flux and then hot zinc. Buckets and such like did not need the fine finish and slow process that electro plating provides.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 27/Feb/2013 18:57:01

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie It usually is these days. I don't know that buckets of that vintage were.

  • profile

    catb -

    • 27/Feb/2013 21:05:47

    . . . and here's a more recent pic of the Oratory! Gallarus Oratory

  • profile

    Seuss.

    • 28/Feb/2013 03:43:22

    No dog, no man, not even a bucket . . . but the shovel's still there?

  • profile

    Myrtle26

    • 28/Feb/2013 10:20:15

    Hi Carol: I have just seen this great picture and may get some information on it sometime.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Feb/2013 13:41:24

    Hoot! Hoot! Information coming in via our Facebook page - this is Seamus Johnson. More as I get it... http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosskayree

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 28/Feb/2013 14:09:32

    Probably the Johnson family in Question - no sign of Seamus, but there is a 2 year old Hanna, possibly a sister. Census 1911

  • profile

    Paddyj1325

    • 01/Mar/2013 00:23:23

    It might be my uncle. Have to check with fam. He certainly has the same nose my father had.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Mar/2013 13:28:50

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paddyj1325 Your uncle Seamus, Paddy? Please do check and come back to us!

  • profile

    Myrtle26

    • 01/Mar/2013 14:43:07

    This is Seamus Johnson, uncle of Seamus Kelliher, who has confirmed the identity. He maintained the oratory during his lifetime. But the lady in Facebook has won the race in the identification.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Mar/2013 15:45:18

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosskayree Brilliant, Mossy! And now we have http://www.flickr.com/photos/paddyj1325 above (his nephew). Any information always gratefully received!

  • profile

    Paddyj1325

    • 01/Mar/2013 16:25:29

    Hi. Just heard from my brother and 2 of my sisters. They confirmed that it is indeed my Uncle Jim. I never met him but they each did when they went back over for visits. My brother Sean, who got to spend a summer with him one year at the farm, says this: "Yup, that is him. Cool picture. He always had a dog with him. He was a very kind and gentle man. Much quieter than Da. He was paid by the government to be the caretaker of that ancient church. He used to stand up at the oratory and tell people the history of the place. People used to think he worked there and they would tip him. One last unknown fact. The history books say the church is the same as it was 1,000 years ago, untouched by man. WRONG! The stones across the top were put there by Dad’s Father to keep the rain out because he kept sheep in there. Originally the top was open to let light in. Uncle Jim used to have a very old picture of the place and you could see someone added a top row. Facts you can’t find in a book."

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Mar/2013 16:33:08

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paddyj1325 Thank you so much, Paddy! I'm going to add your (and your brother Sean's) information about your Uncle Jim up under the photo... In light of this photo, it's particularly lovely that Sean says: "He always had a dog with him." Many thanks again! Carol

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Mar/2013 17:00:48

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosskayree Of course if you really want to make an old old library very happy, you'd see if Mr Kelliher can remember the dog's name! :)

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 01/Mar/2013 17:15:19

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Have you a Dogs Identifed tag now?

  • profile

    National Science and Media Museum

    • 04/Mar/2013 17:36:29

    Hello, just thought I'd let you know that our Curator of Photographs selected this photograph as his favourite of the month on Flickr Commons. You can read about it on our blog. - Emma

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 04/Mar/2013 23:26:14

    Hmmm - not sure about the restoration of the roof story. A couple of much earlier (c.1900?) Lawrence collection photos show no signs of a 'join' in the beautifully executed stonework of the Oratory (btw the stones were evidently laid at a slight angle to make rain run off rather than into the building). The stains of lichen and/or moss do not show evidence of restoration or new stonework. People have been arguing about the various Dingle oratories for centuries. Thoughts, anyone? Is this Seamus Johnson's father or grandfather in the Lawrence photos?! See - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333880/Image?lookfor=http:... catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000323150/Image?lookfor=http:... Or was the roofless oratory St Brendan's? - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000323158/Image?lookfor=http:...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 06/Mar/2013 11:09:32

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum Hi Emma! Delighted about that - thanks a million... I think we've already discovered here that the inclusion of a dog guarantees "that a photograph is interesting". :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 06/Mar/2013 11:14:12

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Only chance we've had (if memory serves) to use "Dog Identified" is on this one - Leitrim Boy...

  • profile

    National Science and Media Museum

    • 06/Mar/2013 14:07:01

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Oh yes, especially the ones you share - they're always shortly followed by interesting stories. - Emma

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 10/Mar/2013 15:25:13

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum Think that's because we have such interesting contributors, Emma, for which I thank all of the Gods on a daily basis! Carol

  • profile

    grytlappar

    • 09/Oct/2014 06:15:40

    What a great portrait. They're both so happy! Just lovely. Love the pastel colors too.

  • profile

    abovetheclouds_t

    • 14/Sep/2017 18:30:30

    What a lovely picture, that dog looks unbelievably happy!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 14/Sep/2017 18:50:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you Fiona - he really does!