Jim Lysaght, Colette Daly and Maureen Condon viewing old photographs of past musicals. (John Ahern)

Old photographs are some of people’s most treasured belongings – recalling as they do memories of yesteryear. Fermoy Musical Society (formerly Fermoy Choral Society) recently came into possession of a cache of rare photographs of ‘old choral shows’. However, all were uncaptioned.

In an effort to discover more about the pictures, choral veterans, some involved in the shows from the 1940s, were invited to The Grand Hotel, Fermoy last week to see if they could help identify ‘the unknowns’.

The photographs in question were in the possession of the late Edmund Carroll (who was musical director for 50 years). They were discovered by his daughter Valerie, who passed them on to Fermoy Musical Society secretary, Katherine Keane.

The photographs were taken by Frank O’Brien and Canon O’Dwyer, a priest who was based in Fermoy during the 1950s. Local man, Dermot Fitzgerald, oversaw the restoration and enhancement of the images – some of which were in a poor state. Thanks to his expertise, some excellent prints were reproduced.

Secretary of Fermoy Musical Society, Katherine Keane (back) with past members who were invited along to view a selection of old photographs, l-r: Maura Young, Ber Mulcahy and Kitty Hammond. (John Ahern)

According to Katherine Keane, last week’s exercise was very worthwhile and names were put to a lot of the faces. She thanked everyone for making the effort to come along. All the information supplied was recorded and transcribed.

Thanks to a great team effort, new light is being shed on Fermoy musicals from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.