Home The Monsignor Reid Collection

The Monsignor Reid Collection

Fr William Reid, later Monsignor Reid, acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He was a man who enjoyed capturing the moment and filmed a wide variety of subjects, mainly in colour, 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, Co Roscommon in 1908. He was educated locally at St Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen before going 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, 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.
A filmmaker of some skill, his collection of 16mm films was deposited with the IFI Irish Film Archive by a relative Ann O’Brien (née Reid).

Monsignor Reid Collection: CASTLEREA TRAIN STATION

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This short film follows a train Journey from Roscommon to Dublin in 1947. A group of people wait for a train at Castlerea Station. When everyone is aboard the camera captures the journey, filming  the pleasant, verdant countryside as it passes by. Castlerea Train station opened on November 15th 1860 and continues to service the […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: THE CLIFFS OF MOHER

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This short segment of film taken by Monsignor Reid provides scenic views of the Cliffs of Moher. O’Brien’s Tower, built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru the High King of Ireland, can be seen in the distance. In 2015, the Cliffs of Moher were listed as UNESCO sites of great natural […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: O’CONNELL STREET, DUBLIN

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This short film shows a busy O’Connell Street, Dublin in 1947.  The camera captures the streetscape with the Gresham Hotel , Nelson’s Pillar, the Ambassador Cinema and O’Connell Bridge. Traffic conductors directing the double-decker buses, cars and the many cyclists making their way down the bustling main street of Dublin. Father, later Monsignor, William Reid […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: LIMERICK CITY

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This short segment of film gives a glimpse of Limerick City in 1947. The camera captures the hustle and bustle of O’Connell Street, the main thoroughfare of Limerick City. It ends with a shot of the Treaty Stone, on which the Treaty Of Limerick between the warring Williamites and Jacobites was signed in 1691. Father, […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: HOLIDAY IN ENGLAND

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This film from 1947 captures a holiday in Bournemouth, England and includes shots of the Redhill Hospital, the Downs, a trip to Bournemouth and Stonehenge; followed by some stunning shots of Salisbury Cathedral. Father, later Monsignor, William Reid acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He continued to film a wide variety of subjects […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: HOLIDAY IN HIGHLAND, NEW YORK

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This film was shot in the town of Highland, New York between 1939 and 1940, and consists of scenes of the Hudson River Bridge, miners working the Iron mines of the Hudson Highlands and family get-togethers. Father, later Monsignor, William Reid acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He continued to film a wide […]

Monsignor Reid Collection: Moments in Ireland 1947 – 1948

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This film captures a wonderful mix of locations around Ireland, from the Kinvara Mountains, Garnish Island in Glengarriff, to the Dublin Horseshow (dated on August 7th 1947). The footage in this piece is some of the most varied and visually stunning filmed by Monsignor Reid. Father, later Monsignor, William Reid acquired his first ‘movie’ camera […]