Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Human Side of every Irish town

With Christmas around the corner, a new book from one of the midlands’ most acclaimed human interest photogarphers is certain to feature under the Christmas trees of many households when it goes on sale next week.
Mullingar – Time Goes By is the culmination of decades of work undertaken by local photographer and Galway-native, Matt Nolan. Featuring thousands of faces across 240 pages, the collector’s item contains a treasure-trove of images, going back to the 1960s as well as hundreds of snippets of biographical information relating either to his subjects, or to the occasion on which the photograph was taken and a fascinating written history of Mullingar town from its foundation almost one thousand years ago.

At the core of it all is the people Paddy Boyhan from Coll-instown is an organic and suckler cow farmer. He is concerned about the environment and is worried about the direction Irish farming is taking. He is photographed during the winter of 2000, getting some feed to his animals, using his car for transport. Photo taken in 2000.
At the core of it all is the people
Paddy Boyhan from Coll-instown is an organic and suckler cow farmer. He is concerned about the environment and is worried about the direction Irish farming is taking. He is photographed during the winter of 2000, getting some feed to his animals, using his car for transport. Photo taken in 2000.
A town of great character...and great characters The musical Oliver, with a host of big names,  was staged by Lakeland Productions, in the County Hall, now Mullingar Arts Centre, back in 1985. The show  brought together some famous music hall names along with new musical entertainers, many of them marching on to the stage for the very first time. It was an immediate success for director John White and marked him off as an outstanding director of  semi-professional music hall productions in Ireland.  Prior to opening night the photo  was taken of three of the leads as they were checking through some of their lines before  the show. Pictured left to right are Peter Fagan (Bill Sykes), Charlie Kelly (Fagin) and Margaret Fallon (Nancy).
A town of great character…and great characters
The musical Oliver, with a host of big names, was staged by Lakeland Productions, in the County Hall, now Mullingar Arts Centre, back in 1985. The show brought together some famous music hall names along with new musical entertainers, many of them marching on to the stage for the very first time. It was an immediate success for director John White and marked him off as an outstanding director of semi-professional music hall productions in Ireland. Prior to opening night the photo was taken of three of the leads as they were checking through some of their lines before the show. Pictured left to right are Peter Fagan (Bill Sykes), Charlie Kelly (Fagin) and Margaret Fallon (Nancy).
Photographer, Matt Nolan.
Photographer, Matt Nolan.
Joe Deegan (left) and Annie Tone (Right)
Joe Deegan (left) and Annie Tone (Right)

Joe Deegan – a proud Mullingar man and die- hard Westmeath supporter
For years Joe Deegan was one of Mullingar’s most recognisable characters.
He was a proud Mullingar man and a dedicated Westmeath football supporter. He went to school in CBS but never liked the place. He regularly found himself sitting in “the dunces’ seat”… “not a very nice place,” he admitted, for it was there that he got regular “beatings” from the Brothers. He emigrated to England in the early 60s and got employment with a circus where he worked doing daredevil tricks and feeding elephants. He returned to Mullingar in 1970 and worked part time with good friends like Joe Healy and Joe Dolan, doing odd jobs like gardening and caddy work on the golf course. But gradually, alcohol was taking him over and he often found himself living rough in various towns around the country. He was certain that he would have died long before he did were it not for the Gardaí who often picked him up and brought him home or out to St Loman’s where he liked being “admitted”…. just because the hospital was warm. He died in 2012.

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