Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

100 years of unseen garda pics unveiled

An Garda Síochána has launched an online archive featuring a century’s worth of unseen historical photographs.

The new Garda Centenary Online Photographic Archive 1922-2022 was launched last week as part of An Garda Síochána’s centenary celebrations.

In 2002, thousands of photographs taken by the Garda Photographic Section were discovered and work began immediately on their conservation and restoration.

When discovered, the images were on fragile glass plate negatives, mainly 6X4 inches in size, having been placed in storage in 1979. It required painstaking work to digitise the photographs for the archive.

This will be the first time the photographs, which document important periods both in Irish history and in the evolution of An Garda Síochána, will be available for public viewing.

The photographs include events of major national and international prominence including the Eucharistic Congress of 1932, the inauguration of Ireland’s first President Douglas Hyde in 1938, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.

Speaking at the archive’s launch in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris underlined the importance of preserving Ireland’s photographic history.

He said: “During this centenary year, we are launching a photographic archive that will help preserve and visually present the evolution of our police service over the past 100 years.

“The foundation of An Garda Síochána as Ireland’s unarmed, national police and security service was a pivotal moment in Irish history, and the photographs now available on our online archive ensure that they are in permanent record for generations to come.

"It is our hope that the public and those who had loved ones involved in An Garda Síochána can flick through these photographs and be reminded of times gone by. We hope that those who are retired or serving in An Garda Síochána will recognise former colleagues and friends.”

To experience the Garda Centenary Online Photographic Archive 1922-2022, visit