Rare footage of Connemara circa the 1950s accompanies the video of a song about escapism by a singer-songwriter based in Galway city.
David Boland – who makes music under the name New Pope – unearthed the vintage holiday footage of County Galway, and Mayo, during an extensive trawl online.
He came across the decades-old colour film on YouTube, and contacted the man who had uploaded it looking for permission to use it as a music video for one of his songs.
“I don’t really know anything about him. His name is Michael Rogge, he is a Dutch man, and he seems to have travelled around the world a lot during the 1940s and 50s and County Galway was one of the places he visited and filmed,” said Boland.
The video is a throwback to more innocent times. There is a scene with two women and a man in the foreground, and a picturesque hill in the background. In another, a man brings home turf from the bog on his donkey-drawn cart.
The footage has got tongues wagging online with many observers speculating about where it was filmed but signs give hints that it’s in Connemara.
“There’s a bit of a debate about the year. I thought it was the 1960s but from the comments left underneath the video people say it was the 1950s, probably 1954.
There is a car from the 1937 in it and apparently, it’s a Riley Kestrel. We’re pretty sure it is in Connemara but we’re not exactly sure where.
“There is a bit of the footage that I didn’t use that was filmed in Ballinasloe but in some of the scenes there are signs pointing to Clifden, Carna, Cashel and Screebe. Some of the footage used is from Achill Island and the footage of the fisherman is from the Black Oak river in Mayo,” he said.
From Moville in Donegal, Boland lives at College Road in the city and has been in Galway for the past twelve years. “I came for college and ended up staying,” he said.
The track that goes with the Connemara footage is from his second album, Youth, which has a theme of nostalgia.
“The song is called Onwards, Westwards and it’s all about escaping from the city. Sometimes in the city we get caught up in things that are inconsequential but you get out of that environment, clear your head, and things don’t seem as important,” he said.
He said Connemara is beautiful, and the old footage was a perfect fit because, “it is exactly the type of place you’d want to escape to”.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.