The Photo Album of the Irish: Canada Edition


Your Photos, Your Memories, Our History

Photo Museum Ireland initiated the Photo Album of the Irish project in 2014 to record and celebrate the ordinary and extraordinary histories of people with Irish heritage reflected in family photograph albums. This iteration of the project reflects on the diverse and varied experience of Canada’s Irish diaspora, as seen through their own family albums. We were interested to uncover the many roles that photography has played in reflecting our past and recording our present.

In February 2020 the Photo Album team from Photo Museum Ireland travelled to Canada to begin the digital archiving work for the project. Our plans were halted by COVID-19 when the imposition of travel restrictions meant further visits to Canada were first postponed, and then cancelled. In the move to working remotely, the resourcefulness and goodwill of our partner organisations, as well as of our contributors, were crucial in continuing the project and we would like to extend our fullest thanks to them.

It is fitting that, as we approach the centenary of the establishment of the independent Irish Free State and the State of Northern Ireland, this latest edition of the project builds towards 100 family histories, embracing and reflecting a broad spectrum of cultural identities.

Funded by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme

Credits & Thanks

Photo Museum Ireland would like to thank the individual contributors and their wider families for their generosity in contributing to this book and archive project:

Ontario: Thanks to Dr. Eamonn McKee, Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, Jim Kelly, previous Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, Anne Martin, Laura Finlay and the team at The Embassy of Ireland, Ottawa, St. Brigid’s Centre, Ottawa; Cathy Murphy, Executive Director, Tara Murphy and team at the Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Canadian Immigration Centre; Robert Kearns and William Peat at Ireland Park Foundation, Toronto.

Vancouver: Thanks to Frank Flood, Consul General of Ireland, Vancouver, Jennifer Bourke, Deputy Consul General of Ireland and Bláithín Noone and the team at the Consulate General of Ireland, Vancouver for their support and commitment which made the project possible in B.C., the remarkable Eilis Courtney, President of the Irish Women’s Network of B.C., who undertook the task of scanning and archiving.

Montreal: Thanks to Dr. Michael Kenneally, Honorary Consul General of Ireland, School of Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, and St. Patrick’s society of Montreal. Special thanks to Patrick Shea in Montreal for taking on high-end scanning of his own family archive.

Thanks to Dr. Orla Fitzpatrick, John Toohey and Brian McConnell for contributing archival material and insights.

Thanks to the contributors and their wider families: Paul Clerkin, Shirely Clerkin & Eugene Clerkin; Eilis Courtney; Liliane Clune; Bryan Daly; Wade Davis; Al Duffy; Mike Donovan; Carmel Drumgoole & John Wildman;

Dr. Orla Fitzpatrick; Maeve Glass; Gemma Healy-Murphy; Michael Hurley; Philomena & Patrick Hughes; Sherrilyn & Jordan Jahrig; Dr. Raymond Jess; Sadie Maguire & Frank Flood; Eugene McCann; Brian McConnell;

Deirdre McGing; Niamh Mitchell; Deirdre Mulrooney; Cathy Murphy; Eoin O’Donovan; Brian & Deirdre O’Ruairc; Colm & Geri Quinn; Ken Quinn; Dermot Scott; Patrick M. Shea; John Toohey; Ian, Frankie & Nikki Thuillier, and Elaine Wong.

Thanks to Dr. Eamonn McKee, Ambassador of Ireland to Canada; Dr. Orla Fitzpatrick; Frank Flood, Consul General of Ireland, Vancouver; Dr. Raymond Jess; Cathy Murphy, Executive Director, Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Canadian Immigration Centre and John Toohey for their considered texts.

Funders: This project was made possible by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme. We would like to record particular thanks to Yvonne Ellison, Anne Norton and team of the Emigrant Support Programme, Global Irish Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs for their generous advice and support.

Advisors and friends: Pam Butler; Shirley Clerkin; Daniel Condren; Richard Cushnie; Terry Fedorkiw; Niall Kerr, Making the Future project/Nerve Centre; Las Fallon; Catherine McCooey; Patrick Mannion; Fearghal McGarry; Chris Murray & Carlotta Hester; Bryan Patten, Hugo Straney and Elaine Wong; Paul Geraghty; William Fagan; Stephanie McBride; Audrey Brennan; Thomas Burke, Luke Gibbons and Yetti Redmond.

The team: thanks to Ruža Leko and team at Studio Suss; Diatec; GPS Printers; Peter FitzGerald at iCulture design; Aengus Barton & Eugene McCann at eTailor web developers; Pete Reddy; Jeremy Howard; Jocelyn Murray Boyne; Gemma Tipton; Lynda Shepherd and Colouringbox; Siobhan Gordon; Michael Weir, Louise Donnelly, and the many individuals who have worked on the Photo Album of the Irish over the years, especially Niamh Crowley, Ailish George, Brendan Maher, Deirdre McGing and Maeve O’Neill. A particular thank you to Anna McGillicuddy for her inspiration.


Search all albums by either Family Name (e.g. ‘Courtney’), Location (e.g. ‘Vancouver’) or a specific search phrase (e.g. ‘Waldorf Astoria Hotel’)