"Castlerea Train Station" is now available to stream for free on the Irish Film Institute's IFI Archive Player.

This short film follows a train journey from Roscommon to Dublin in 1947. When everyone is aboard, the train leaves Castlerea Station and the camera captures the stunning landscape of the trip. Castlerea Train Station opened on November 15th, 1860, and continues to service the Roscommon area today.

"Castlerea Train Station" is part of the IFI's Monsignor Reid Collection.

About the Irish Film Institute’s Monsignor Reid Collection

Father William Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He enjoyed capturing fleeting moments and filmed a wide variety of subjects, mainly in color, from the 1930s to the 1970s. In addition to footage of family, friends, and beautiful Irish scenery, he captured holiday-makers in France, Spain, England, and Italy.

Monsignor Reid also filmed extensively in the United States, where he lived for much of his life. Notable American films in his collection show scenes of his adopted home in Oklahoma, Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, and a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, in which Bobby Kennedy can be seen walking in the procession.

He was born William Henry Reid in Loughglynn, County Roscommon in 1908. He was educated locally at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen before moving to Louvain, Belgium, to study for the priesthood. In 1936, the newly-ordained Father Reid set sail for Oklahoma, the diocese in the USA to which he had been assigned. He became one of the youngest priests ever to be made a Monsignor.

Throughout his life, Monsignor Reid maintained close family ties with Ireland. He spent four weeks every summer relaxing in the homestead (usually accompanied by his younger brother, Reverend Martin Reid) and filming his family and friends – holidays, weddings, picnics, and anniversaries in Sligo, Roscommon, and elsewhere around the country. He fulfilled his dream to retire in his native parish of Loughglynn and passed away in September 1979.

Monsignor Reid’s collection of 16mm films was deposited with the IFI Irish Film Archive by a relative Ann O’Brien (née Reid).

"Castlerea Train Station" is published here thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), which IrishCentral has partnered up with to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Archive Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Archive Player Apps for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

*Originally published in November 2021. Updated in June 2023. 

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