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‘Flying with Father Browne’

Over one hundred previously unseen photographs of Irish Aviation from the early 20th century are presented in the latest Father Browne SJ book, Flying with Fr Browne, by Eddie O’Donnell SJ, published by Messenger Publications.

According to the author, aviation was a source of great fascination for Father Browne. He flew in various aircraft from the early days of flight, often in private planes, and in his later years on scheduled aircraft. This collection features his unique images of Irish aviation in the early years of the twentieth century.

The book contains photos from the new Dublin Airport to Cobham’s Flying Circus. There are early photos of bi-planes and the Aer Lingus fleet. Also photographs on the ground and from the air.The book will have broad appeal but in particular aviation and photography enthusiasts will find here a treasure trove of previously unseen material.

Fr Frank Browne SJ is one of the best known and most important photographers of the twentieth century. He is best known for his extraordinary collection of photographs taken during the maiden voyage of the Titanic which he travelled on from Southampton, via Cherbourg and on to Cobh. When the ship sank, his photographs were printed on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Eddie O’Donnell SJ published a book on the Titanic photos which was updated in 2012, on the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the boat that was deemed ‘unsinkable’.

Fr Browne was also the first war photo journalist. He served and was decorated as a chaplain in WWI. And he continued to take thousands of photographs throughout his life, amassing a collection of 42,000 negatives which were forgotten about until after his death. Then, fellow Jesuit  Eddie O’Donnell, now author of many books on the photos of Fr Browne SJ, discovered them in a trunk in the community house where Fr Browne once lived. Fr Eddie was the curator of the Father Browne collection for many years.