An Garda Síochána (Ireland's police) has launched its Garda Centenary Online Photographic Archive 1922 – 2022 as part of its current centenary celebrations.
In 2002, thousands of historical photographs captured by the formerly known Garda Photographic Section were discovered and work began on their conservation and restoration.
When discovered, the images were on fragile glass plate negatives, mainly 6X4 inches in size having been placed in storage in 1979. It required painstaking work to digitize them and which culminates in today’s launch.
These significant photographs which document important periods both in Irish history and in the evolution of An Garda Síochána through the decades are available to view online in one place.
This is the first time that the photographs will be available to and viewed by the public.
For close to a century, Garda Forensic Photographers recorded the photographic evidence of serious crime scenes for investigative purposes, but they also captured the more informal aspects of our organization too. The social and recreational activities, informal gatherings of colleagues and their families as well as the day-to-day work of Gardaí in communities across Ireland.
These photographs include events of major national and international prominence including the Eucharistic Congress of 1932, the inauguration of Ireland’s first President Douglas Hyde in 1938, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.
Speaking at this morning’s launch in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, "During this centenary year, we are launching a photographic archive that will help preserve and visually present the evolution of our police service over the past 100 years.
"The foundation of An Garda Síochána as Ireland’s unarmed, national police and security service was a pivotal moment in Irish history, and the photographs now available on our online archive ensure that they are in permanent record for generations to come.
"It is our hope that the public and those who had loved ones involved in An Garda Síochána can flick through these photographs and be reminded of times gone by. We hope that those who are retired or serving in An Garda Síochána will recognize former colleagues and friends."
Visit www.GardaPhotoArchive.ie here.