Shinrone's black and white treasure

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karen.ogrady@midlandtribune.ie

Shinrone native, Patrick De Roe, senior architect with South Dublin County Council, has developed photographs from glass plates dating back to the late nineteenth century, taken by his grandfather William DeRoe.

William, born in 1868 in Ballytoran, Shinrone was a keen photographer, in his spare time, when only a few people owned a camera. As a result, many local people came to him to have their photos taken.

“We do not know who some of the people are in the photos,” said Anne Deroe, Patrick’s sister who lives in Shinrone, “but luckily our parents gave us the names of a number of the families when we were growing up, but if people saw the photos they might recognise relatives. William took photos of the village and houses that no longer exist are in the streetscapes, as well as people who are long dead.”

Noel McMahon, retired Principal and prominent local historian, who has produced two books about Shinrone, was delighted when he saw the photos and identified more people and locations in the photos.

The Deroe family are giving the local Primary School a USB key of the photos and Patrick is giving a slideshow presentation of the glass plates he has developed recently. He will zoom in on faces of children outside the Church of Ireland Primary School (late 19th century) and Shinrone Girls Primary School and people will be able to identify relatives, hopefully. There are photos of horses being shoed, pig about to be killed and a series on how tree trunks were lifted by a pulley system. The Black and Tans were stationed in the village during the War of Independence and there are many shots of them in uniform and in civilian clothing.

Shinrone Heritage Group are inviting Patrick to show the fruits of his hard work in a slideshow of the restored glass plates. It will be held on Thursday April 18 in Shinrone National School.

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