Heart of the City 1972-1982 by Brendan Walsh

This is your last chance to see Brendan Walsh’s remarkable photographs of Dublin. 

For the last 12 months visitors to the museum have been stunned by Brendan Walsh’s extraordinary portrait of the north city centre in the 1970s and early 1980s. Sadly the show must come to an end shortly. 

Brendan started taking pictures by accident – his first photographic assignment was working as an assistant for the celebrated American photographer Evelyn Hofer.

Hofer published a celebrated book of her Dublin photographs in 1968, and returned to the city in 1972 to shoot images for a piece on Crossmaglen in conjunction with writer Eamonn McCann for the Sunday Times colour magazine.

Brendan was in his mid-twenties and had never worked in photography, but the experience with Hofer was formative, and he bought his first camera with the money he earned from working with her.

As a personal project Brendan began taking photos of Dublin’s north city centre, highlighting the poverty and dire situation many of the cities residents were living in. These shots were taken mainly during the 1970s, leading up to the famous Gregory Deal of 1982 (at which Brendan was present, taking photographs.)

Ronan Sheehan met Brendan during this period. An expert on the city, Sheehan was interested in the images, and was involved at the time with Mick Rafferty, Tony Gregory and the NCCCAP. Ronan and Brendan subsequently produced a seminal book, The Heart of the City, which topped the bestellers list. Published by Brandon Books, the run was small but the text is one of the most important documents of the time and place, and is still used today in academic study and schools.

This exhibition brings together – for the first time on public view – many of Brendan’s images from that period. Beautifully photographed on medium format and 35mm black and white film, the show features images of a city crumbling, a people resilient and proud, and the efforts of some to save a community under threat.

The exhibition must end December 13th. For press images and further information, contact Simon O’Connor on 01 661 1000 or simon [at] littlemuseum.ie