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Death of much-loved local photographer

April 8th, 2019 6:22 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The late Michael and his wife Nancy Minihane continuing with the local tradition of ‘putting summer on the door' of their home in Bridge Street in Skibbereen in 2017. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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FOR almost a quarter of a century, Michael Minihane chronicled a time of great change in West Cork.

The photographer – who died this week at the age of 97 – had, for years, ran a one-man media operation from his home at Bridge Street in Skibbereen.

His passion for the business inspired two of his five children, Denis and Anne, to follow him into the photography business. They learned from the master how important it was to meet deadlines and chronicle a huge variety of local events – all of which, in time, presented a much bigger picture and an incredible sense of place.

Michael’s work for The Examiner and Evening Echo brought him from Bandon to Dursey Island. Photographs taken early in the day had to be developed, printed, and put on a van to Cork by mid-afternoon.

In times of great emergency, such as the Betelgeuse disaster on Whiddy Island, there was no magic computer button to press. It was a case of driving to Cork, in haste.

Included in his wonderful collection of photographs of life in West Cork is Michael’s enduring image of the last train leaving Baltimore; pictures of lighthouse keepers being winched from lifeboats onto the Fastnet; and children all lined up on the last day of school on Dursey Island.

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