Ciarán Walsh and Con Collins at the launch of  The Great Blasket, A Photographic Portrait. June 2013.


The definitive book of photographs of the Great Blasket Island has just been published by Collins Press. The book was authored by Michéal and Dáithí de Mórdha of Ionad an Bhlaoscaoid Mhóir and the photographs were edited by Ciarán Walsh of curator.ie. There are thousands of photographs in the archive of  Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir/The Great Blasket Centre. They cover a wide range of material, from private mementoes of families to the work of folklorists, press photographers, and others. The first photographs on the Great Blasket were taken by Alma Curtin in 1891. For the next sixty years or so the islanders and the island would be photographed by all who visited, including the children of people who had emigrated. The result is an extraordinary chronicle of a way of life and kinship, of the life and death of the Great Blasket, evacuated in 1953 but never abandoned. This collection captures the spirit of the island community, from the excitement of discovery by the outside world in the late nineteenth century, through to the decline of the 1940s and the legacy since 1953. Many of these photographs have never been published before.


Micheál de Mórdha, Ciarán Walsh and Dáithí de Mórdha