Search Results for 'amateur photographer'

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Mayo through Jack Leonard’s lense

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'The Men of the West', that iconic photograph of Michael Kilroy's flying column taken with only the aid of natural light on the southern slopes of Nephin at 11.45pm on the longest day of the year in 1921, is known to us all. It hangs in numerous Mayo pubs and homes and thanks to the quality of the conditions and the skill of the photographer, we can clearly see the resolute expressions of the young men, we know their names and know their stories. But what of the photographer himself? What of the man who captured this first ever photo of an IRA unit on active service in Ireland? Jack Leonard did not just happen upon Kilroy and his men that bright June night. He was no amateur photographer, and neither was he a bystander during his country's fight for freedom. With a keen sense of duty, Leonard used his talent to capture all aspects of Mayo life in the early twentieth century. Jack 'JJ' Leonard was born in 1882 in Crossmolina and as a young man he trained in journalism and photography in London. He returned to Ireland in 1906 to set up his photography business at a time when the country was in political flux. Emotions and anger remained after the Land War in Mayo, a period of civil unrest and violence in the late 1800s, and the methods of parliamentary nationalists were now being challenged by physical force republicans. 

Mayo through Jack Leonard’s lens

image preview

'The Men of the West', that iconic photograph of Michael Kilroy's flying column taken with only the aid of natural light on the southern slopes of Nephin at 11.45pm on the longest day of the year in 1921, is known to us all. It hangs in numerous Mayo pubs and homes and thanks to the quality of the conditions and the skill of the photographer, we can clearly see the resolute expressions of the young men, we know their names and know their stories. But what of the photographer himself? What of the man who captured this first ever photo of an IRA unit on active service in Ireland? Jack Leonard did not just happen upon Kilroy and his men that bright June night. He was no amateur photographer, and neither was he a bystander during his country's fight for freedom. With a keen sense of duty, Leonard used his talent to capture all aspects of Mayo life in the early twentieth century. Jack 'JJ' Leonard was born in 1882 in Crossmolina and as a young man he trained in journalism and photography in London. He returned to Ireland in 1906 to set up his photography business at a time when the country was in political flux. Emotions and anger remained after the Land War in Mayo, a period of civil unrest and violence in the late 1800s, and the methods of parliamentary nationalists were now being challenged by physical force republicans.

 

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