Owen

Eoin who? (click on the image for a bigger photo)

I photographed this lovely gentleman about 20 years ago on a rainy day in a pub on a dreary day in Millstreet. Spent a few hours chatting with him as I waited to pick my sister up from Drishane. I believe his name was Owen. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Aidan Bradley.

This came in as an email to millstreet.ie. Can anyone help? … and I was wondering what pub is it, as i don’t recognise that windowsill. If so, leave a comment please. (there have been a number of helpful comments already,  click here to read them)

Here is an extended version of the story of how the photo came to be taken:

Twenty odd years ago I went home to Ireland for a week to celebrate my brothers wedding. Upon arrival my mother asked me to drive to Millstreet, a small town near Cork where I was born, to pick up my younger sister who was attending a local convent. The Reverend Mother would not release my sister but suggested I return some three hours later.

Millstreet is not a very large town (population 1400) but boasts more pubs per capita than most Irish Villages. It was a typically miserable Irish day so I searched for a pub that had a warm fireplace to pass a couple of hours.

When I finally found the perfect spot I bellied up to the bar and ordered a pint. It didn’t take long to realize that there was only one other warm soul in the establishment. I spotted this wonderful gentleman sitting at the end of the room by the window. I have never been one to take pictures of other’s but something within pushed me through my shyness to approach this man.

I asked him if I could take his picture and without hesitation he agreed. As I fumbled with my camera equipment I noticed he was preparing himself for the photograph. I asked him to leave everything just as it was and to lift his glass in a typical Irish salute, Slainte (to your health).

I nervously snapped off three shots. As I was putting away my equipment I noticed him pulling back his coat, revealing a jacket underneath. Opening his jacket he delved into a breast pocket in his vest. He pulled out a little plastic purse which he squeezed open and extricated a few coins. He stretched out his hand and offered me a few shillings.

“What are you doing”, I said. “You took me likeness, I have to pay you”.

I called over the bartender and ordered a couple of pints of Guniness. His name was Owen Riordan. He had worked all his life in the fields, behind horses ploughing and tilling (check out his hands). He had never left the village but did have some friends who had sailed to the “new world”. Sacramento.

Upon my return to California I made some prints and sent them to him. I never heard from him again but it wasn’t important. I have been paid a lot of money to photograph grass but images like this are priceless. I am glad that it has given you a little pleasure.

(Aiden Bradley January 25, 2010)

5 thoughts on “Owen”

  1. Owen O’Riordan is the mans name. He lived in Ivale, and was an uncle to PaddyJoe Riordan Killowen (at who’s home he passed away some 10-12 years ago). He was a good character, a fierce card player, and liked his trip to the pub every now and again.
    Indeed that very picture became a postcard and was spread all around the world at the time.

  2. This is james here Just to say that pic is a man known locally as ‘Eoiny Dom’ His full name is Eoin Dominic Riordan from Ivale, Kilcorney He was a bachelor all his life, loved to joke, loved his pint, loved to talk. He worked on our farm for many years. He was a real handyman on the farm and could turn his hand at any job. He is dead id say 12-15years now. I hope that is of some help to the man who sent the info in. It’s a super pic of Eoin Great story how so many years later the pic resurfaced James

  3. He lived just half a mile up the road from me.He would call to us most evenings and always livened the place up.Himself and my grandfather loved to have a few bottles of porter.He passed away on the 9th of feb 1999 at the age of 92.

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