Monday, June 30, 2014

Gearmánaigh sna 1930í – Germans in the Thirties



Seachtó bliain ó cuireadh tús ar thránna Normandy leis an bhfeachtas míleata a chuirfeadh deireadh leis an Dara Cogadh Domhanda ar ball, déanaim machnamh an mhí seo ar na Gearmánaigh éagsúla (agus Ostarach amháin) a chuir suim in Árainn sna blianta roimh an chogaidh úd. Dar ndóigh, bhí Gearmánaigh léannta in Árainn i bhfad roimhe sin: má tharraing Franz Nicolaus Finck (1867-1910) ar thobar na Gaeilge, ghlac Heinrich Zimmer (1851-1910) ról níos gníomhaí i saol an oileáin nuair a thug sé óráid ag gríosú na nÁrannach chun ceannairce le linn Chogadh na Talún. Faoi na 1930í, ba í seandacht Árann fré chéile, chomh maith leis an nGaeilge agus an béaloideas, a spreag na Gearmánaigh thíosluaite chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar imeallbhord síochánta na hEorpa.

I 1930, thug Roinn Oideachais an tSaor-Stáit cuireadh don teangeolaí Wilhelm Doegen (1877-1967) ón Königlich Preußische Phonographische Kommission i mBeirlín – oide a raibh cáil air mar gheall ar thaifeadaí a rinne sé i gcampaí géibhinn an Chéad Chogadh Domhanda ar chimí a raibh Éireannaigh ina measc – teacht go hÉireann ar mhaithe le hurlabhra na Gaeltachta a thaifeadadh. Ba é Acadamh Ríoga nahÉireann a tharraing ar ghréasán saineolaithe ó cheann ceann na tíre chun cuidiú le Doegen. I measc na noileánach a moladh do na bailitheoirí béaloidis agus amhrán Seán Mac Giollarnáth agus Tomás Ó Máille chun na hoibre seo bhí in Árainn Darach Ó Direáin (Eoghanacht), Seáinín Tom Ó Direáin (Sruthán), Seán Ó Flaithbheartaigh (Bun Gabhla), Seán de Bhailís (Sruthán) agus, in Inis Meáin, Beairtle Ó Flaithbheartaigh, Máirtín Rua, Máirtín Mhaidhcil Ó Cadhain, agus Máirtín Roger Ó Concheanainn. Theip ar iarrachtaí na hÁrannaigh seo a thabhairt go Gaillimh lena dtaifead, áfach, agus taifeadadh ina n-ionad beirt oileánach eile a raibh cónaí orthu sa chathair: an t-údar Peadar Ó Concheanainn as Inis Meáin agus an file Máirtín Ó Direáin as an Sruthán, Árainn.

Heinrich Becker Collection; by permission of James Hardiman Library.
(As the collection is currently being catalogued,
this upload is taken from Becker's book 'I mBéal na Farraige')
In Earrach na bliana 1933, thug an seandálaí Adolf Mahr (a rugadh san Ostair) cuairt ar Árainn agus d’fhan sé féin agus a mhac Gustav (1922-2012) le Robert Flaherty agus a chlann i gCill Mhuirbhigh. B’é Mahr (1887-1951) Coimeadaí na nÁrsaíochtaí in Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann agus is ansiúd a casadh é féin agus an Flaitheartach ar a chéile an bhliain roimhe sin tráth dá raibh taighde dá scannán Man of Aran (1934) idir lámha ag an scannánóir mór-le-rá. Níorbh í seo an chéad chuairt ag Mahr ar Árainn. Bhí suim aige i gcurachaí ach go háirithe agus, faoi 1931, bhí sé ag iarraidh deantúsán thraidisiúnta chun cur le bailiúcháin an Mhúsaeim. Tarlaíonn freisin go raibh lámh aige sa dara scannán de chuid Árann dár stiúraigh an Flaitheartach, is é sin Oidhche Sheanchais (1934), ar fritheadh cóip de anuraidh in Ollscoil Harvard (beidh a thuilleadh faoin scannán spéisiúil sin uaim amach anseo).

Ní hiad na gníomhachtaí ghairmiúla seo is mó a tharraing aird na staire ar Adolf Mahr, áfach, ach an ról a ghlac sé mar cheannaire an Pháirtí Naitsíoch in Éirinn agus, ina dhiaidh sin, sa Ghearmáin mar cheannaire ar Irland-Redaktion, stáisiún raidió a chraol trí Ghaeilge i rith an chogaidh. Naitsí eile a tháinig go hÁrainn i 1937 ba ea Ludwig Mühlhausen (1888-1956), léachtóir sa Léann Ceilteach in Hamburg a d’oibrigh freisin ar Irland-Redaktion agus a bhí ina oifigeach san S.S. Creidtear go raibh sé ag déanamh spiaireachta in Éirinn ar mhaithe le fomhuireáin na Gearmáine san Atlantach. Is cinnte gur bhailigh sé béaloideas Gaeilge agus gur ghlac sé cnuasach toirtiúil grianghrafanna ar fud na tíre a mhaireann anois in Ollscoil Tübingen. Gabhadh Mahr agus Mühlhausen i ndiaidh an chogaidh agus bhíodar beirt ina gcimí cogaidh i gcampaí géibhinn. B’í an drochshláinte a d’fhulaing siad ina dhiaidh sin ar fad a scuab iad ar deireadh.

Is é an ceathrú scoláire, an béaloideasóir Heinrich Becker (1907-2001), is mó díobh seo a chur le stór staire Árann. Tháinig Becker go hÉireann chun Gaeilge a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le béaloideas a bhailiú. Mhúin sé Gearmáinis in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus chaith seal sna Doireadha gar do Ros an Mhíl. Nuair a fógraíodh an cogadh, is go hÁrainn a chuaigh Becker, ach i ndiaidh do bheirt shaighdiúir Sasanach é a ionsaí i gCill Éinne, d’aistrigh sé go hInis Oírr áit dár chaith sé an chuid eile den chogadh. Eisean a ghlac íomhá álainn na míosa seo – damhsa ar An Leic in Inis Oírr agus Ruairí Sheáin Ó Conghaile, creidim, ag ceol. Tá lear mór d’íomhánna Bhecker crochta i dtithe ósta an oileáin agus maireann an bailiúchán iomlán – idir grianghrafanna, taifeadtaí, agus cáipéisí – i Leabharlann Shéamuis Uí Argadáin i nGaillimh.

Franz Nicolaus Finck, Die Araner Mundart (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1899); Breandán & Ruairí Ó hEithir, An Aran Reader (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1991); Brendan Mullins, Dublin Nazi No.1: The Life of Adolf Mahr (Dublin: Liberties Press, 2007); David O’Donoghue, Hitler's Irish Voices: the story of German radio's wartime Irish service (Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1998); Heinrich Becker, I mBéal na Farraige (Indreabhán: Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 1997); Seaweed Memories: In the Jaws of the Sea (Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2000).

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The seventieth-anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy earlier this month reminds me of the various Germans (and one Austrian) who showed an interest in Aran in the decade before WWII. Of course, German scholars had visited Aran much earlier: Franz Nicolaus Finck (1867-1910) came to document the Irish language and Heinrich Zimmer (1851-1910) to study it, though he also gave a speech encouraging islanders to take action in the Land War. By the 1930s, it was Aran’s antiquity as well as its language and folklore that prompted the Germans discussed below to head for the edge of Europe.

In 1930, the Department of Education invited the language scholar Wilhelm Doegen (1877-1967) from the Königlich Preußische Phonographische Kommission in Berlin –who was known for recording various nationalities including Irish in prisoner-of-war camps in the aftermath of WWI – to come to Ireland in order to record Gaeltacht speech. The Royal Irish Academy was responsible for recruiting Doegen’s assistants countrywide. Among the islanders recommended for the work to the folksong and folklore collectors Seán Mac Giollarnáth and Tomás Ó Máille were, in Árainn, Darach Ó Direáin (Eoghanacht), Seáinín Tom Ó Direáin (Sruthán), Seán Ó Flaithbheartaigh (Bun Gabhla), Seán de Bhailís (Sruthán) and, in Inis Meáin, Beairtle Ó Flaithbheartaigh, Máirtín Rua, Máirtín Mhaidhcil Ó Cadhain, and Máirtín Roger Ó Concheanainn. Efforts to bring these islanders to Galway failed, however, so two other islanders who lived in the city were recorded instead: the author Peadar Ó Concheanainn of Inis Meáin and the poet Máirtín Ó Direáin from Sruthán, Árainn.

In Spring 1933, the archaeologist Adolf Mahr (who was Austrian-born) visited Aran where he and his son Gustav (1922-2012) stayed with Robert Flaherty and his family in Cill Mhuirbhigh; Mahr (1887-1951) was then Keeper of Antiquities in the National Museum of Ireland, which is where he and Flaherty first met while the latter was researching his film Man of Aran (1934). This was not Mahr’s first time in Aran. He had a special interest in curraghs and, by 1931, he had sought local traditional craft artefacts for the Museum’s collections. Mahr also had a hand in Flaherty’s second Aran film Oidhche Sheanchais (1934), a copy of which turned up recently in Harvard University (more on that interesting film at some future date).

The professional life of Adolf Mahr has been overshadowed, however, by his political life – as leader of the Nazi Party in Ireland and, later, in Germany where he directed Irland-Redaktion, a radio station that broadcast in Irish throughout the war. Another Nazi who came to Aran in 1937 was Ludwig Mühlhausen (1888-1956), a Celtic Studies lecturer in Hamburg, who also worked at Irland-Redaktion and who was an S.S.officer too. He was suspected of spying in Ireland, in particular for photographing particular bays on the west coast that had the potential to accommodate German submarines. He certainly collected Irish folktales and took many photographs across the country, which survive now in the University of Tübingen. Both Mahr and Mühlhausen were captured after the war and spent time in prisoner-of-war camps. Neither regained their health after their experiences and both died in the 1950s.

The fourth scholar, Heinrich Becker (1907-2001), made the biggest contribution to the history of Aran. Becker came to Ireland to learn Irish in order to collect its folklore. He taught German at University College Galway and spent time in Na Doireadha near Ros an Mhíl in Conamara. When WWII broke out, Becker went to Árainn but, after being attacked by two British soldiers in Cill Éinne, he relocated to Inis Oírr where he spent much of his time until the end of the war. He is responsible for the beautiful image accompanying this month’s blogpost: dancing at An Leic (The Flag) in Inis Oírr with music played – if I’m not mistaken – by Ruairí Sheáin Ó Conghaile. Many of Becker’s images line the walls of the islands’ pubs and his entire collection – including photographs, recordings, and documents – now survives in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway.

Franz Nicolaus Finck, Die Araner Mundart (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1899); Breandán & Ruairí Ó hEithir, An Aran Reader (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1991); Brendan Mullins, Dublin Nazi No.1: The Life of Adolf Mahr (Dublin: Liberties Press, 2007); David O’Donoghue, Hitler's Irish Voices: the story of German radio's wartime Irish service (Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1998); Heinrich Becker, I mBéal na Farraige (Indreabhán: Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 1997); Seaweed Memories: In the Jaws of the Sea (Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2000).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Proinsias Ó Conluain in Árainn, 1949



Ceiliúrann blag na míosa seo taispeántas úr atá seolta ag Cartlann RTÉ ina bhfuil ábhar sainiúil luachmhar as Árainn, ábhar a raibh lámh ag Proinsias Ó Conluain (1919-2013) ina bhailiú. Ba craoltóir agus scríbhneoir é Proinsias a bhain leis an Aonad clúiteach Taistil a bhunaigh Raidió Éireann i 1947. Is thar cheann an aonaid sin a thug Proinsias cuairt ar Árainn don chéad uair i mí na Samhna 1949. Seo mar a tharla...

Thograigh beirt léiritheoir de chuid an chainéil raidió BBC Third Programme – an file W.R. Rodgers agus an t-údar David Thomson – ábhar cláir a thaifead in Éirinn agus d’iarr siad cúnamh ó Raidió Éireann. Nuair nach raibh an píobaire cáiliúil Séamus Mac Aonghusa ar fáil, b’é Proinsias Ó Conluain a d’imigh leo ar an gcoinníol go mbeadh ábhar cláir aigesean as an turas. Bhí suim mhór ag Bertie Rodgers ach go háirithe in Árainn mar gheall ar shaothar Synge. Ar Dé Céadaoin 16 Samhain, sheol siad ar bord an Dún Aengus as Gaillimh go hÁrainn áit gur chaith siad seachtain ag taifead. I gcaibidil dar teideal ‘Cín Lae Craoltóra’, rinne Ó Conluain cur síos iontach ar gach a thit amach i rith na seachtaine. Roinnim anseo blaiseadh beag dá chur síos toirtiúil.
 
BBC engineers Ron Partlin & Fred Cooper with father & son Beairtlín Bhaba Ó hIarnáin and Sonny Hernon, Cill Mhuirbhigh 16 November 1949. Photograph by David Thomson, courtesy of Martina Thomson.
Céadaoin 16 Samhain
Cill Rónáin. Teach tábhairne Mhic Dhonncha [Tí Joe Mac]. Daoine an-chineálta liom agus ag brú brandaí orm as siocair mé bheith tinn. ‘Socróidh sé an goile dhuit,’ adeir Paitín Ó Fátharta – agus shocraigh. Ach bhí a laghad sin spéis agam i gcúrsaí an tsaoil seo ar feadh tamaill gur fhág mé mo mhála i mo dhiaidh ar an bhád.

Déardaoin 17 Samhain
Oíche mhór ceoil agus amhránaíochta sa [Man of Aran] ‘cottage’. Ceig phórtair ar chuntas an BBC! Buicéad de i lár urlár na cistine mé féin á dháileadh amach as crúiscín ar lucht ceoil nó ar dhuine ar bith a bhfuil tart air. Tréan fuisce le fáil sa control room taobh thiar, an áit a bhfuil na ceirníní á ngearradh. Ceol, comhrá, amhráin, agus damhsa go maidin.

Domhnach 20 Samhain
Seachghlórtha eile: curach ag teacht i dtír, maidí rámha ag gíoscarnach sna leapacha iomartha, bristeacha móra, capall Bheartlaidh ar sodar ar an bhóthar, clog an tséipéil ag bualadh...
     Cúpla rothar ar iasacht agam féin agus ag Bertie [Rodgers] ó mhuintir Johnston lenár dtabhairt ar ais go Cill Mhuirbhigh, ach is beag an mhaith anocht iad. An-drochoíche ann – fearthainn agus gaoth mhór – cuirtíní fearthainne crochta ar imeall an domhain.
     Gan focal as ceachtar againn ach sinn ag smaoineamh le tréan trua dúinn féin, ‘Dá bhfeicfeadh Londain nó Baile Átha Cliath anois muid – an cruatan atáimid sásta a fhulaingt ar mhaithe le clár a imeos le haer an tsaoil taobh istigh de leathuair an chloig!’

Luan 21 Samhain
Oíche: céilí sa ‘cottage’. Anois go díreach atáimid ag cur aithne i gceart ar na daoine. Ní hé go raibh siad fuar ná falsa faoi labhairt linn, ná faoi amhrán a chanadh, roimhe seo, ach is cairde anois sinn agus tráchtar go han-oscailte ar an uile ghné de shaol an oileáin.

Máirt 22 Samhain
Deir Pádraig Ó hEithir gur aithin sé gur stráinséirí a bhí chucu nuair a tháinig muid chun tí aréir a dhéanamh socruithe faoin chór – chuig doras na gaoithe a tháinig muid!

Céadaoin 23 Samhain
Cuimhním ar abairt de chuid Bhertie: “The sea a halter round men’s lives and the land a stone about their feet.”

Ach ní mar adhastar faoi shaol na ndaoine a chímse an fharraige timpeall Árann, ach mar mhachaire mór saoirse agus féiniúlachta, na carraigeacha faoina gcosa á ndaingniú agus á mbuanú sa dúchas.

Proinsias Ó Conluain. “Cín Lae Craoltóra.” In Written on the Wind: Personal Memories of Irish Radio 1926-76, ed. Louis McRedmond, 87-106. Dublin: RTÉ in association with Gill and Macmillan, 1976.

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This month’s blog celebrates the launch of a new online exhibition from the RTÉ Archives featuring unique and valuable material from Aran. Helping to collect this material was Proinsias Ó Conluain (1919-2013), a renowned broadcaster and writer who worked with the famed Mobile Recording Unit that Raidió Éireann set up in 1947. It was on behalf of the MRU that Ó Conluain first visited Aran in November 1949. The story goes that two BBC Third Programme producers – poet W.R. Rodgers and author David Thomson – wanted to record Irish material for broadcast and requested the assistance of Raidió Éireann. As the celebrated piper Séamus Ennis was unavailable, it was Ó Conluain who accompanied the BBC on condition that he too could collect material for broadcast on RÉ. Bertie Rodgers was drawn to Aran in particular because of the works of John Millington Synge. On Wednesday 16 November, they sailed aboard the Dún Aengus from Galway to Aran where they spent a week recording. In a chapter entitled ‘A Broadcaster’s Diary’, Ó Conluain gives a wonderful description of all that happened that week. This blog features just a flavour of his much longer description. I hope my translation does his original Irish justice.

Wednesday 16 November
Cill Rónáin. McDonagh’s pub [Tí Joe Mac]. People very kind to me and persuading me to imbibe brandy as I am sea-sick. ‘That will settle your stomach,’ said Paitín Ó Fátharta – and it did. But I was so disinterested in proceedings around me for a while that I left my bag behind me on the boat.

Thursday 17 November
A big night of music and song in the [Man of Aran] cottage. A keg of porter on the BBC’s tab! A bucket of it in middle of the kitchen floor – me doling it out from a little jug to musicians and anyone who is thirsty. Strong whiskey available in the control room behind, where the records are being cut. Music, talk, songs, and dancing until morning.

Sunday 20 November
More sound effects: a curragh coming ashore, oars squeaking in their oarlocks, great breakers, Beartlaidh’s horse trotting on the road, the church bell ringing…
     Some bikes loaned to Bertie and I by the Johnston family to bring us back to Cill Mhuirbhigh, but they are little good to us tonight. A very bad night – rain and high winds – curtains of squalls hanging at the edge of the world.
     Not a word from either of us as we wallow in self-pity, ‘If London or Dublin saw us now – the hardship we are willing to endure for the sake of a programme that will disappear into the ether within half an hour!’

Monday 21 November
Nightime : céilí in the cottage. It is only now that we are getting to know the people properly. Not that they were cold or false in speaking with us before, or in singing a song, but we are friends now and they speak very openly about every aspect of life on the island.

Tuesday 22 November
Pádraig Ó hEithir said he knew we were strangers arriving to the house last night to make arrangements about the choir – we came to the windward door!

Wednesday 23 November
I remember one of Bertie’s remarks: “The sea a halter round men’s lives and the land a stone about their feet.”

It is not as a halter around men’s lives that I see the sea around Aran, but as a great plain of freedom and identity, the rocks beneath their feet securing them, rooting them to their heritage.

Proinsias Ó Conluain. “Cín Lae Craoltóra.” In Written on the Wind: Personal Memories of Irish Radio 1926-76, ed. Louis McRedmond, 87-106. Dublin: RTÉ in association with Gill and Macmillan, 1976.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mistéir na Ríleanna Glugair – The Outtake Mystery


Is iomaí cor sa saol, go mór mhór i saol an taighde. Chuir scéalta nua suimiúla spreagúla moill ar an mblagphosta seo agus, nuair a thosnaíos á scríobh, tháinig cor eile sa scéilín atá á roinnt agam libh anois.

Gheall mé mí Eanáir seo caite go mbeadh tuairisc eile agam daoibh ar Man of Aran. Thart ar 1972, mealladh an Meiriceánach George C. Stoney (1916-2012) go hÁrainn don gcéad uair. Theastaigh uaidh scéal neamhghnách a shinsir ansiúd (a mhínigh Tim Robinson sa leabhar Stones of Aran: Labyrinth, lgh.141-2) a fhiosrú. Ach, mar scannánóir cáiliúil faisnéise, mheall Man of Aran é freisin. I 1979, d’eisigh sé a scannán féin faoi dhéanamh scannán Uí Fhlaithearta, How the Myth Was Made. Sa scannán sin, feictear Stoney in éindí le Harry Watt – Sasanach a d’oibrigh mar chúntóir léiriúcháin ar Man of Aran – ag breathnú tríd an ábhar a bhí fágtha i dteachín an Man of Aran i gCill Mhuirbhigh ag Robert Flaherty i ndeireadh 1933. Féach anseo grianghraf de chriú fiosrach Stoney ag féachaint ar an sean-trealamh scannánaíochta – i bhfómhar 1976, is dóigh liom.
Ó chlé: Harry Watt, James Brown, agus Paul Barnes, c.1976. George C. Stoney a ghlac. Le caoinchead Documentary Educational Resources www.der.org

Sa teach an lá sin, d’aimsigh Stoney agus Watt ríleanna glugair de chuid Man of Aran. Roinn Stoney féin liom an scéal sular bhásaigh sé: seoladh iomlán an ábhair scannáin a frítheadh an uair úd go Stiúideó Ardmore i mBré, Co. Chill Mhantáin, ach, nuair a thug Stoney cuairt ar an ionad sin mí ina dhiaidh sin, dúradh leis gur caitheadh amach é trí thimpist – rud a chur díomá an domhain air, dar ndóigh.

Bronnann an scéilín seo comhthéacs úr ar ghrianghraf eile atá anois i gcartlann Getty Images, grianghraf a léiríonn go ndearna Flaherty iarracht bhreise an íomhá d’Árainn a bhí cruthaithe aige a smachtú: nuair a thug sé a chuairt dheireanach ar an oileán i Meán Fómhair 1949, dhóigh sé roinnt de na ríleanna glugair. Cérbh iad na radharcanna a ndearna sé iarracht a ghlanadh ó chuimhne na ndaoine? Agus cérbh iad na radharcanna nár mhiste leis go ndéanfaí a mheas mar chuid dá oidhreacht ealaíne?

Ach féach cor eile sa scéal. I gcaint dar teideal “Must a Filmmaker Always Leave His Mark?” a thug Stoney uaidh i mBealtaine 1978 san Astráil, dúirt sé:

Some 6,000 feet of outtakes were discovered in Dublin a few years ago by Alf MacLochlainn of Ireland’s National Library. These show Flaherty’s Aran characters going through all the necessary foolishness of making old-style films.

Is mó seans gur inis MacLochlainn féin do Stoney cad a bhí sna míreanna glugair seo. Ach ní fios go fóill céard a d’éirigh don ábhar sin ná cén fáth gur mhair sé tamall i mBaile Átha Cliath. Tá bailiúcháin ábharthacha sa Leabharlann Náisiúnta nach bhfuil cláraithe go hiomlán go fóill. Mar sin, ní féidir a bheith cinnte más ann atá siad anois nó nach ea. Leanfaidh an bhleachtaireacht!

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The twists and turns of the researching life have delayed this post but have also yielded some new, intriguing tales that I hope to share with you in due course. For now, here is a story I promised you last January, another chapter in the saga of Man of Aran.

Around 1972, the American film-maker George C. Stoney (1916-2012) visited Aran for the first time. He wanted to investigate the intriguing history of his ancestors there (outlined by Tim Robinson in Stones of Aran: Labyrinth, pp.141-2) but he was also lured by the film Man of Aran. In 1979, he released his own documentary on the making of Flaherty’s film, entitled How the Myth Was Made. In that film, we see Stoney and Harry Watt – an Englishman who worked as production assistant on Man of Aran – discovering materials that Flaherty had left behind in the Man of Aran cottage in Cill Mhuirbhigh in late 1933. This photograph shows Stoney’s inquisitive crew examining the old film equipment – in the autumn of 1976, I believe.

In the cottage that day, Stoney and Watt found outtake reels from Man of Aran. What happened next Stoney himself relayed to me before he died: the entirety of the film material they found was shipped to Ardmore Studios in Bray, Co. Wicklow, but, when he visited the studios a month later, he was told it had been accidentally disposed of – to his great dismay, naturally.

Stoney’s story gives new meaning to another photograph, which survives in the archives of Getty Images, a photograph showing Flaherty attempting once again to marshal his image of Aran: on his final visit to Aran in September 1949, he burned some of the outtake reels. So, what scenes did he try to wipe from local memory? And what scenes did he deem fit for inclusion in his artistic legacy?

There is yet another twist in the tale. In a lecture entitled “Must a Filmmaker Always Leave His Mark?” delivered in May 1978 in Canberra, Australia, Stoney said:

Some 6,000 feet of outtakes were discovered in Dublin a few years ago by Alf MacLochlainn of Ireland’s National Library. These show Flaherty’s Aran characters going through all the necessary foolishness of making old-style films.
It is more likely that MacLochlainn himself told Stoney what was in those outtake reels. However, it is, as yet, unknown what happened to that material or why it survived for a time in Dublin. There are some as yet unlisted materials in the National Library of Ireland that may hold the answers but, for the moment, the mystery remains – and the detective work continues!