The Monsignor Reid Collection

Father William Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He enjoyed capturing fleeting moments 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 moving 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.

Monsignor Reid’s collection of 16mm films was deposited with the IFI Irish Film Archive by a relative Ann O’Brien (née Reid).

Castlerea Train Station – Monsignor Reid Collection

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This short film follows a train journey from Roscommon to Dublin in 1947. When everyone is aboard the train leaves Castlerea Station and the camera captures the stunning landscape of the trip. Castlerea Train station opened on November 15th 1860 and continues to service the Roscommon area today. Father Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his […]

The Cliffs of Moher – Monsignor Reid Collection

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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 […]

O’Connell Street, Dublin – Monsignor Reid Collection

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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 direct double-decker buses while cars and many cyclists make their way down the bustling main street of Dublin. Father Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his […]

Limerick City – Monsignor Reid Collection

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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 […]

Holiday in England – Monsignor Reid Collection

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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 and some stunning shots of Salisbury Cathedral. Father Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in the mid-1930s. He continued to film a wide variety of subjects until […]

Holiday in Highland, New York – Monsignor Reid Collection

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

Moments in Ireland (1947-1948) – Monsignor Reid Collection

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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 (on August 7th 1947). The footage in this piece is some of the most varied and visually stunning filmed by Monsignor Reid. Father Reid (later Monsignor Reid) acquired his first ‘movie’ camera in […]