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Dublin: 18°C Monday 16 May 2022

PHOTOS: Arthur Fields captured Dublin life for five decades

An archive of almost 6,000 photographs has been crowdsourced from across Ireland.

af Arthur Fields on O’Connell Street, Dublin in the 1980s Source: Man on the Bridge

ARTHUR FIELDS CAPTURED life on Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge and Street for five decades, from the 1930s to the 1980s.

The Man on the Bridge project, a campaign to collect his photographs, was launched in 2014.

An archive of almost 6,000 photographs has been crowdsourced from across Ireland since then and a second book of Fields’ images was recently released.

Born Abraham Feldman in 1901, Fields was from a Ukrainian-Jewish family who fled anti-Semitism. He lived in Raheny in Dublin and started out as a tailor before becoming a photographer.

Ciarán Deeney, a documentary producer based in Dublin who helps run the Man on the Bridge project, said: “No matter how big or how small, we wanted to emphasise the role that everyone can play in authoring social history.

Walking down a street is an act of history-making in itself; being photographed is an act of documentation, and submitting your photograph to a project like this is an act of archiving.

“With no surviving negatives, these street photographs were scattered across the globe in family albums. By bringing them together through the Man on the Bridge project, we have, we hope, managed to create a moment of solidarity.”

Here are some of the images:

8 Gerry Dornan from Dublin (left) and Kevin Barry from Galbally, County Limerick, 1975. Source: Man on the Bridge

7 Bikers Brian Sullivan, Bill Byrne, Leslie Kirshaw and Brian Core outside the GPO in 1969. Source: Man on the Bridge

6 Patricia Burke on the way to meet her fiancé Denis Tipple in 1966. Source: Man on the Bridge

5 Tony Connolly and Tony Byrne, members of Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil (Local Defence Force) after the Easter Military Parade in 1962. Source: Man on the Bridge

4 Séamus O’Maonaigh, of Ballybough/Harold’s Cross, and his three sons (left to right) Cartha, Conleth and Ciaran on O’Connell Bridge in 1955 or 1956. Source: Man on the Bridge

3 The Dufficy sisters from Tulsk, County Roscommon. Left to right: Eileen O’Shea, Martha Casserly, May Donaldson and Kathleen Donaldson (1954). Source: Man on the Bridge

2 Jim Coughlan, who worked in the Corinthian Cinema. One of his jobs was to bring cash from the Corinthian to the Theatre Royal, hence the leather bag (1950). Source: Man on the Bridge

1 Michael Healy and his son Michael, 1934. Source: Man on the Bridge

Man on the Bridge – More Photos by Arthur Fields is published by The Collins Press and available now.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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