Tipperary Archive

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Home of local studies research for Tipperary County Council Library Service.

The Local Studies Department is the primary resource for local history research in County Tipperary for historians and enthusiasts. It has a dedicated reading room with modern research facilities.

Home > Updates > Coming Soon: Fr Kennedy Holycross slides

Coming Soon: Fr Kennedy Holycross slides

For Heritage Week 2022 Tipperary Studies is delighted to present a selection from the huge collection of slides and photographs, taken by Fr. Tom Kennedy, Holycross in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection was recently donated to Tipperary Studies by St. Patrick’s College, Thurles.

There are 1205 images in the digital collection, depicting the restoration of Holycross Abbey, rural life in Holycross and throughout Co. Tipperary, local events such as parades, traditional dancing and dramas, sporting events, holidays in the west of Ireland and visits to monastic ruins. 

Fr Kennedy (1926 – 1994) was a native of Ballyheen, Templemore and after ordination spent his working life in Alabama, U.S.A. His photographs of visits home in the 1960s show rural Ireland at a turning point with horses and donkeys still very much in use. His interest in monastic ruins, sport and rural life is evident from his pictures. Forced to retire due to ill health, he settled in Holycross around 1970. He took a keen interest in the restoration of the Abbey and in village life and documented both through his images. Despite his poor health, he was known as a convivial man with a keen sense of humour.  His pictures also feature family, friends and of course Rex the dog his faithful companion (and gatekeeper) in Holycross.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse of a vanished Ireland and we would welcome any information on people or places in the images.