Michael O'Leary photographs

Michael O'Leary, a Cork local historian and an amateur photographer, presented the photographs in this section — among many other images — to Cork City Libraries.  With the exception of some historical photographs from his private collection, most of these photographs were taken by Mr O'Leary from 1950 until his death in December 2011.  His particular interest was the older buildings in and around Cork city, which he photographed across six decades, capturing a range of historical buildings and streetscapes, many of which are no longer with us.

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Arbutus Lodge‌  Alfred Street‌   Anderson's Quay  Anti-bodysnatching grill  Attiwell Hayes
 Bachelor's Quay  Bandon Road Area : Cottages  Barrack Street Area  Beamish & Crawford Stables  Blackamoor Lane Friary
 Blackrock Castle  Bonded Warehouses  Broad Lane Church  Camden Quay  Caroline Street
 Christ Church Lane  Cook Street Cork Butter Market‌   Crosse's Green  Custom House
 Dean Street  Desmond Square  Doll's House  Douglas Street: Street Name Plaque  Elizabeth Fort
 Exchange (Castle Street)  Gaol Bridge  George's Quay  Grand Parade  Grattan Street/Henry Street
 Hanover Shoe Company  Innisfallen  Keyser's Hill  Langford Row  Lee Rowing Club
 Little Cross Street  MacCarthy Monument, Blackroad Road  ‌Masonic Hall Murphy's Brewery Chimney  Ninety Eight Street
 North Abbey Square  North Gate Bridge  North Gate Bridge: Cast-iron bridge  Old Deanery, Dean Street  Old lane / 'red light' district, Barrack Street
 Opera House  Queen Anne House, Emmet Place  Queen's Place  Rutland Street  Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral
 Saint Francis Church  Saint Patrick's Bridge  Saint Peter's Market  Skiddy's Castle  Sober Lane
 South Gate Bridge  St. Colmans Cathedral  St. Finbarr's (South) Church  St. Finbarr's Market Wall  Vicar Street

Michael O'Leary was born on 31 March 1922 and died on 21 December 2011.  Since Cork City Libraries launched the Cork Past and Present website at the end of 2004, Michael donated over 1,000 photographs to Cork City Libraries. In March 2012, to coincide with the 90th anniversary of Michael’s birth, Cork City Libraries opened a Flickr account with almost 800 photographs of Cork city scenes, recorded by Michael on his digital camera in the years 2007-2011. These edited photographs can be seen in our Flickr gallery at www.flickr.com/photos/corkcitylibraries/. Other photographs taken by Michael on 35-mm film before 2007 will be added at a future date to our Flickr gallery. 

In 1941-3, during World War II, Michael O'Leary served with the local security force for the Minister for Defence before joining Britain's Royal Air Force.  With the RAF's Unit 901 Wing, he campaigned in Burma until the end of the war, under the command of Air Vice-Marshal, the Earl of Bandon, before returning to civilian life in Cork in 1946.  He also pursued his interest in General Daniel Florence O'Leary, aide-de-camp to Simón Bolívar, who played a notable role in the liberation of South America from Spanish rule.  Michael's great-grandfather was a first cousin of General O'Leary. In 2005, Michael was a guest of the Venezuelan government when he laid a wreath on the tomb of General O'Leary.

 Michael O'Leary, historian  

Photographs below show Michael O’Leary while in Burma, wearing the uniform of Britain’s Royal Air Force, where he served as an AC1 (Aircraftsman, 1st class) of the 901 Expeditionary Air Wing, 224 Group.

Michael O'Leary in Burma photo1        Michael O'Leary in Burma photo2

In 2011, two interviews with Michael were recorded by researchers at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. The videos can be viewed by selecting the links below. The first is entitled "The saga of Henry Browne Hayes" and the second is "In the footsteps of Daniel Florence O'Leary". These videos appear courtesy of the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.

Cork City Libraries, Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland.
Contact us: Tel. +353 21 4924900 | Fax. + 353 21 4275684 | Email: libraries@corkcity.ie