Irish Police launch 100-year-old photo archive online

An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) has launched its online photo archive Garda Centenary 1922 – 2022 as part of its current centenary celebrations.

In 2002, thousands of historic photographs captured by the former Garda Photographic Section were discovered and conservation and restoration work began.

When discovered, the images were on flimsy glass plate negatives, mostly 6 X 4 inches in size, having been stored in 1979. It took painstaking work to digitize them culminating in the launch of today.

These significant photographs which document important periods both in Irish history and in the development of An Garda Síochána through the decades can be viewed online in one place.

This is the first time that the photographs will be available and seen by the public.

For nearly a century, Garda Forensic Photographers have recorded photographic evidence of serious crime scenes for investigative purposes, but they have also captured the more informal aspects of our organization. Social and recreational activities, informal gatherings of colleagues and their families as well as the daily work of Gardaí in communities across Ireland.

These photographs include events of great national and international significance, including the Eucharistic Congress in 1932, the inauguration of Ireland’s first President Douglas Hyde in 1938, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.

Speaking at this morning’s launch at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “In this centenary year, we are launching a photographic archive which will help preserve and visually present the evolution of our police service over the past 100 years.

“The founding of An Garda Síochána as Ireland’s unarmed national police and security service was a pivotal moment in Irish history, and the photographs now available on our online archive ensure that they will be recorded. permanently for future generations.

“We hope that the public and those who had loved ones involved in An Garda Síochána will be able to leaf through these photos and remember times past. We hope that those retired or serving in An Garda Síochána will recognize former colleagues and friends.”

Visit www.GardaPhotoArchive.ie here.

Michael E. Marquez