Witness to War - new exhibition to open in the National Photographic Archive

Witness to War: the War of Independence and Civil War through the lens of WD Hogan

New exhibition at the National Photographic Archive

Opening 13 January 2010

Witness to WarWitness to War

The photographer WD Hogan had unique access to the events of the War of Independence and Civil War in Ireland between 1920 and 1923. Hogan who had the official sanction of Sinn Féin during the War of Independence, and the official sanction of the national army during the Civil War, had a ringside seat at many historically significant events during these years. While many critics argue that his photographs of this key period in Irish history are one-sided, they provide an undeniably powerful record nonetheless.

On Wednesday, 13 January 2010 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin TD will open the Witness to War: the War of Independence and Civil War through the lens of WD Hogan exhibition at the National Photographic Archive (NPA) in Temple Bar, Dublin. The 167 photographs featuring in the exhibition were compiled by Captain Rev Denis J Wilson, Chaplain to the Free State army during the 1920s. Minister Martin is the author of Freedom to choose: Cork and party politics in Ireland 1918-1932 (published by Collins Press in 2007). He has written extensively on this period of Irish history in Cork city and county.

The photographs featured in the exhibition include actions shots of military activity; photographs of the Black and Tans; images of both Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins addressing meetings attended by huge crowds; the destruction of the Four Courts and of the Customs House. While images of military activity by the Black and Tans in the area in and around Cork city predominate, inevitably images of two of the major personalities involved in the pro-Treaty side conflict – Collins and Griffith – feature strongly. Also on view are copies of original letters exchanged between the photographer and the Censor’s Office in Dublin; a selection of handbills and posters relating to the Anglo-Irish Treaty; photographs of the handover of Athlone Barracks by the British army to General McKeon in February 1922; the burning of Balbriggan by the Black and Tans in September 1920; the burning of the Customs House in Dublin in May 1921; the burning of the Four Courts in Dublin in July 1922; Free State army troops landing by ship at Passage West, Co Cork; Irish army troops entering Cork in August 1922 after the defeat of the Republicans/Anti-Treaty forces.

The exhibition will be of particular interest to schoolchildren; teachers are being encouraged to bring groups of children to the NPA to visit the exhibition, which continues until 24 May 2010.

Opening Hours

Mon – Fri: 10am – 5pm

Saturday: 10am – 2.30pm

For school tour bookings, call +353 1 603 0374.

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