Fr Brownes’s Kerry is the latest offering of Eddie O’Donnell, the Jesuit who discovered the 40.000 negatives of photos taken by the now famous Irish Jesuit photographer, throughout his life. There are over a hundred photos in this latest book, all from Co Kerry and not surprisingly, all very beautiful.
Most of the photos haven’t been seen before though Eddie points out in an interview with Pat Coyle of the JCC that the cover picture of four children in high glee running on a beach in Valentia would be familiar to Irish tax payers since the Revenue Commissioners bought and used it. And the famous photo of men walking in the snow to Doon Church (pictured here) was used for a Christmas card by Ark Life Insurance.
Every photo has a story behind it and Eddie O’Donnell knows that tale. What links poet Lord Alfred Tennyson and Fr Browne? What role did Fr Browne play in Minister Noel Browne’s (no relation), Mother and Child scheme? Who is the well-known son of one of three men outside the Central Hotel in Ballybunion? And would you have won the bet offered by the AIB bank manager? He had, on display, Fr Browne’s photo of a local high jump competition and viewers were asked to guess in what direction the lithe country man was jumping, cap on head, unmoved. Answers to all these questions and more can be found in the interview with Pat Coyle. Listen here.
Fr Browne’s Kerry is published by Messenger Publications and is available on all good bookshops or online at www.messenger.ie, for €23.99.