The Father Delaney Collection
Father Jack Delaney was born in 1906 and died in 1980. He was ordained in 1930 at the age of 24 and served as a parish priest in Dublin in the 1930s and 1940s.
In the 1930s Fr Delaney was assigned to the North inner city parish that included Gloucester Street (now Seán MacDermott Street), Rutland Street and Gardiner Street. It was an impoverished neighbourhood where people lived in densely populated tenements. Father Delaney who had come from a comfortable middle-class family had great admiration for the people of the inner city, admiring their sense of community and their resilience in the face of hardship. Father Delaney’s parishioners are the subject of many of his films and his images of tenement life, scenes of children playing in rubble, stall holders, inner city flats with washing hanging from the balconies and the inhabitants of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Convent (which housed a Magdalene Laundry) provide us with a fascinating glimpse of life in inner city Dublin in the 1930s.
Father Delaney’s niece Irene Devitt, along with her late husband John Devitt, deposited her late uncle’s film collection with the IFI Irish Film Archive in the 1990s.