Home The Gael Linn Collection

The Gael Linn Collection

Gael Linn was established in 1953 to promote Irish language and culture and its co-founder and first Manager, Riobard Mac Góráin immediately realised the importance of promoting the language through entertainment and the popular media. Gael Linn’s initial foray into film- making was the first regular indigenous cinema newsreel since the ‘Irish Events’ series of the 1920s. In 1955 Ernest Blythe, Chairman of Comdhail Naisiunta na Gaelige, lent Gael Linn £100 to produce a short film for cinema, and the Amharc Eireann (A View of Ireland) newsreel was born. From 1956 to mid-1957 Amharc Eireann consisted of short single story items that were distributed to cinemas throughout the country on a monthly basis. Their popularity was immediate and by mid-1957 the Rank Film Distributors agreed to supply them to Irish cinemas along with their own newsreel, at which point they became issued on a fortnightly basis. By 1959 the success of this home-grown newsreel resulted in it being produced weekly and it expanded to include 4 separate news stories. The series continued until 1964 when the immediacy of television as a means of relaying news to the Irish population rendered the news- reel obsolete. Produced by Colm O’Laoghaire, a total of 267 editions of Amharc Eireann were made. Although Gael Linn’s Amharc Eireann production ceased in late 1964 its influence is on- going. The range of Irish interest subjects covered (from hard news stories to more magazine- like items) provide a vivid window into the development of modern Ireland at a particularly progressive point in its development providing a first-hand insight into moral, cultural and the economic development of the country throughout the Whittaker and Lemass eras.

JOHN HUSTON BECOMES AN IRISH CITIZEN

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Outside the Government Buildings on Merrion St, news reporters waited for the famous film director John Huston after he officially became an Irish citizen. The director, famous for films such as The Maltese Falcon and Moby Dick, was born in Missouri in 1906, but on this day in 1964 he renounced his American citizenship to […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, NEW YEAR SALE FEVER

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New Year’s day 1964 and the queue outside Arnotts department store on Henry Street was full of keen-eyed bargain hunters eagerly awaiting the doors to open. As the line grew longer and crowds spilled out onto the street aside passing cars (Henry Street was later pedestrianised in the 1980s) it was time for the flood […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, GARDAI DEPOT AUCTION

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It’s not often people willingly visit the Garda Depot, but when there’s a bargain to be had at a car auction, they make sure to come in their droves. With 60 cars up for auction all varying in condition, it was essential to have a good look at what was on offer in the yard […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, DUNDALK RACES 1960

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Set near the historic Cooley Mountains, the 1960 Dundalk Autumn Races took place once the harvest was in and bookies hoped to coax some easy money from the farmers of Louth, Monaghan and Meath. Tensions rose in the fifth race where there were 8 horses running a flat race over the course of a mile. […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, NIGERIAN INDEPENDENCE BALL

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The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin was a hive of activity as African and Irish people celebrated Nigeria gaining their independence on the 1st of October 1960. As the crowd danced the night away to swinging Jazz music, the Lord Major of Dublin with his wife enjoyed the festivities with their guest of honour Mr. Vincent […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, NEW CORK DOCKLAND

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The Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, opened the new dockyard in Cork as construction began on a 15,000 ton ship, the biggest of its kind to be made in Ireland at this time.The 400-strong audience, which included Erskine Childers, Minister for Transport, looked on in excitement as the Bishop of Cloyne blessed the site and the Taoiseach […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 32, TIPPERARY NEW YEARS NENAGH

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1960, New Year’s Day and the annual Greyhound coursing contest was underway in Nenagh. All bets were off as the crowd gathered and the competition began. The judges took to the course on horseback to survey the long and extensive course, the hare was released and the hounds were soon in pursuit. There were 6 […]

Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 32, KENMARE’S LAST TRAIN

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On the 1st of February 1960, Kenmare locals and railway workers looked on as the last train made its final journey on the tracks before the line closed. These trains were quite slow by modern standards, but acted as a faster more efficient method of travel for the time, compared to a horse and cart. […]