A Photographic Exhibition - Midland - Lár Tíre: Cycling the MGWR from Past to Present

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The MGWRFebruary in Finglas Library.

Midland - Lár Tíre: Cycling the MGWR from Past to Present is a photographic exhibition by artist Pamela de Brí.  The Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR), built between 1846 and 1895, improved travel for ordinary people especially for those living in the Midlands and the West. It also improved communications, commerce, leisure activities and employment.

A route of 1,000km, Pamela de Brí cycled the entire route of the old railway network visiting most of the stations on this old railway network. On her travels, Pamela spoke to locals, former and current workers and inhabitants of stations for whom the railway was an important part of their lives. She recorded her journey in photographs and in notebooks and also gathered stories, memories, folklore and local history. 

Before beginning the Midland Project, Pamela carried out research in the National Photographic Archive focusing specifically on the O’Dea Collection, a collection of over 5,350 photographs, which provides a historical record of the Irish Rail network, 1937 to 1977. This collection has recently become available to view online at www.nli.ie.  James O’Dea, (1910 – 1992), was a commercial traveller and amateur photographer with an interest in the railway. Pamela will donate a set of photographic prints from the Midland Project to the NPA collection thus building a new archive on part of the O’Dea Collection.

The project was supported by Kildare County Council Arts Service, Foras na Gaeilge and by the National Photographic Archive. Thanks also to Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Irish Railway Record Society and the family and friends of the artist.

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