Archive picture can tell a thousand stories ...

A wealth of fascinating detail can be seen on this archive photo taken on a sunny summer's day in Skibbereen in 1912.   

Huddled outside the town hall you can see (below) a group of older women in the traditional West Cork hooded cloak.

They are assembled below pasted-up posters promoting upcoming auctions and local businesses. Alongside them is a poster that probably advertises for transatlantic crossings on a White Star Line vessel, maybe even the Titanic, which made its last stop in Queenstown (Cobh), Co Cork days before its demise in April 1912.

Sadly famous for its mass graves during the Great Famine, the town had four emigration agents. The lady cyclist may have bought her transport from one of Skibbereen's two 'cycle agents', a number which had risen to three by 1916.

Archive picture can tell a thousand stories ...   

In the segment of the picture highlighted below you see a procession of well turned-out ladies making their way along Skibbereen's North Street in their flowered hats to attend - we assume - an Easter ceremony in the nearby Catholic church.

They are about to pass Levis & Co, a tailor, oufitter and seller of boots and shoes - one of several businesses with the Levis name over the door in the town. Beyond it is the shop of Foster Johnson, a 26-year-old Methodist baker and grocer.

Archive picture can tell a thousand stories ...

Highlighted below you see some well-dressed young lads resting on the steps of Skibbereen's Maid of Erin monument, erected by the local Young Ireland Society in honour of the patriots who fought and died for Ireland.

Commemorating the failed rebellions of 1798, 1848, 1867, it was unveiled in 1904 by Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, who had a shop in the town and was one of the most feted of the 19th-century Fenian activists.

Similar monuments were erected around Ireland by nationalist groups around the turn of the 20th century, after awareness raised to mark the centenary of the 1798 United Irishmen rebellion.

Archive picture can tell a thousand stories ...   

To explore and purchase more pictures from the Irish Examiner picture archive have a lookHERE.

You can also check out our 1916 commemoration coverage to dateHERE

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