Ciarán Walsh begins work on the Ann Doherty Collection in Donegal County Archives Service. Photo: Niamh Brennan, Archivist at Donegal County Council.

Donegal County Council Archives Service acquired a collection of photographs by Ann Doherty in 2018. Doherty worked as a photojournalist with the Sunday Times Magazine between 1998 and 2005 and documented ordinary people living in extraordinary situations across the world. She documented poverty in Blair’s Britain and travelled through post-communist Caucasus countries, Ukraine, and the Balkans. She also worked in Jordan, Egypt, and Sierra Leone. Doherty grew up in England, but her grandmother lived on Gola Island, a small island off the coast of Donegal. This was the subject of her first commission and it remained a major influence on her work as a social documentary photographer.

The Heritage Council awarded Donegal County Archives Service a Heritage Stewardship grant to employ an archivist / curator to work with County Archivist Niamh Brennan and catalogue, digitise, and prepare the collection for exhibition in partnership with Caroline Carr and Judith McCarthy in the County Museum. Ciarán Walsh began work on the project in July, working alongside Niamh Brennan and Ann Doherty on the selection and digitising of 75 images for exhibition. The second phase of the project got underway in August and an exhibition of Doherty’s photographs titled A Common Humanity is scheduled to open in Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny on September 22.

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