As the door of the Town Hall was opened on Saturday morning, few could have predicted what an amazing and enthralling day was to unfold. A group of people waited for the doors to open on "Tuam and its People, Through the Eye of the Camera", a retrospective of Joe Dillon's photography from the 60s through to the 80s. The fact that a crowd formed before the exhibition opened gave an idea of the interest in this event, and it was standing room only as the crowds continued to throng to the Square right throughout the day, until the door was finally shut, long after the expected closing time.
Please go to Gallery for more images of the event
A tremendous atmosphere of nostalgia and warmth pervaded the day, which was added to by photos dating back to the 1960s which had not been seen publicly since they were shot. The rapt audience attending this event were a mixture of old and young, casual browsers and committed "lampers", but everyone leaving the Town Hall on Saturday was given a highly enjoyable walk down memory lane. Many attending the event helped to swell the crowds by phoning friends and family to let them know they had been spotted in the display of over 200 photos. Attendees also got in on the act by helping to identify missing names from the display, with notebooks overflowing by the close of the day.
In his address to the assembled crowd, President of the Old Tuam Society, Pat O'Hora referred to Joe Dillon's unique ability as an interpreter, whether it was on a stage or as a photographer and thanks to Joe and the Trojan work of Ann Tierney of the Society, this unique exhibition which brings Tuam of the past so vividly to life has been preserved for the town and for posterity. It is hoped to make the collection available in book form in the next year, and the Society is deeply grateful to the Dillon family for putting this material at the disposal of Ann and the Old Tuam Society.