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The Tsar’s Photographer and His Amazing Preservation of Russian History

Voice Of EU



Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky was a Russian chemist and photographer famous for his pioneering work in color photography in the early twentieth century.

In 1905 Gorsky set himself to the task of photographically documenting the Russian Empire with the primary aim of educating Russian schoolchildren on the diverse history and culture of the realm. After his famous color photograph of renowned author Leo Tolstoy in 1908, Gorsky received an invitation to present his work to Tsar Nicholas II and his family. So impressed was the Tsar that he commissioned Gorsky’s plan and provided him with funding and a specially-outfitted dark room rail car for his work.

From 1909 to 1915 Gorsky tirelessly traversed the Russian empire capturing thousands of shots of virtually every walk of Russian life. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the completion of his historic mission, we are publishing 100 of his best shots, giving a vivid glimpse into Tsarist Russia on the eve of the Communist Revolution.  

‘War and Peace’ author Leo Tolstoy – 1908


84-year-old Pinkhus Karlinsky was the supervisor of the Chernigov floodgate over the course of 66 years – 1909

Dagestani couple – between 1909-1915

Assumption Cathedral in the Dalmatov Monastery – 1912

Assumption Cathedral in Tobolsk, rampart and part of fence – 1912

Austrian prisoners of war at a barracks near Kiappeselga – 1915

Young boy standing next to a gatepost – 1910

Bukharan bureaucrat – between 1909-1915

Cathedral in Shadrinsk – 1912

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God at the Ipatevsky Monastery – 1910

Cathedral of the Transfigured Savior and Church of the Entry to Jerusalem in Torzhok – 1910

Foreman of the Chakva tea factory, Lau Dzhen Dzhau – between 1909-1915

Chapel from the time of Peter the Great near the Kivach Waterfall near the river Suna – 1915

Chapel where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times – 1909

Children sitting on a hill near a church and belltower in the countryside near White Lake in northern Russia – 1909

Church of the Resurrection of the Blood – between 1909-1915

Church of the Holy Mother of God in Tobolsk – 1912

Church of the Resurrection in the Grove in Kostroma – 1910

View of Dalmatov from the monastery belltower – 1912

Joining of the Irtysh and Tobol rivers – 1912

Courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection – between 1909-1915

Dagestani couple – between 1909-1915

Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir – 1911

Drying nets on Lake Seliger – 1910

Entrance to the Church of the Resurrection in Kostroma – 1910

Exit from the yard of the Church of St. George at the Riurik fortress Staraya Lagoda – 1909

Carpet merchant in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Family working iron mines in the Bakaly Hills with shovels and horse-drawn carts – between 1909-1915

Farmers taking a rest from haying – 1909

Russian forest – 1910

Column fresco in the Church of St. John Chrystosom in Yaroslavl – 1911

Overview of Artvin from the small town of Svet – between 1909-1915

View of Liksansky Palace from the Kura River – between 1909-1915

View of Nikolaevsky Cathedral from the southwest – 1911

View of Shakh-i-Zendi Mosque in Samarkand – between 1909-1915

Georgian woman standing next to a tree – between 1909-1915

Girl with berries – 1909

Sergei Gorsky at the Karolitskhali River – 1912

Gospel belonging to the nun Varsanofiya, governess of the Tsarevna, in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov – 1911

Group of Greek tea harvesters in Chavka – between 1909-1915

Hay storage at the Viazovaya Station – 1910

Iconostasis at a church in Borodino – 1911

Iconostasis at the Winter Church of the Fedorov Mother of God in Yaroslavl – 1911

Treasures in the vestry of the Ipatevsky Monastery in Kostroma – 1911

Borodino Museum – 1911

Jewish children with their teacher in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Production shop for scabbards at the Zlatoust arms plant – 1910

Boat Yard in Kareshka – 1909

Large gathering of men in Central Asia, possibly for a game of Bayga – between 1909-1915

Workers laying concrete for a dam over the Oka River – 1912

Locomotive and coal car at a railroad yard – between 1909-1915

Horseman on the Golodnaya Steppe – between 1909-1915

Man sitting among bamboo trees – between 1909-1915

Man sitting on a log next to a hut for woodcutters – 1912

Melon vendor in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Mills in Tobolsk Province – 1912

The last Emir of Bukhara, Mohammad Alim Khan – 1911

Artistic casting at Kasli Iron Works – between 1909-1915

Monks planting potatoes at Gethsemane Monastery – 1910

Mother of God-Odigitria in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Smolensk – 1912

Mullahs at a mosque in Aziziya Batum – between 1909-1915

Sergei Gorsky near the Kivach Waterfall on the Suna River – 1915

Hotel in Gagra with chauffeur in front – between 1909-1915

Night camp by a rock on the banks of the Chusovaya – 1912

Kyrgyz family on the steppe – between 1909-1915

Noviy Afon Monastery Ponds – between 1909-1915

An old man in Samarqand holding a brace of birds – between 1909-1915

Ordezh River near Siverskaya Station in Petersburg Province – between 1909-1915

Handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk Railway – between 1909-1915

Skuritskhali River – between 1909-1915

Guests standing near Catherine’s Spring at a spa at Borzhom – between 1909-1915

Rafts on Peter the Great Canal in Shlisselburg – 1909

Right bank of the Irtysh River at Tobolsk – 1912

Hauberk and helmet of St. Dalmat – 1912

Sart fields in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Sergei Gorsky with two Cossaks in Murman – 1915

Settler’s family in village of Grafovka – between 1909-1915

Steam engine ‘Kompaund’ with Schmidt super heater – 1915

Stork in a nest in Bukhara – between 1909-1915

Tile stove in the prince’s chamber in Rosta Veliky – 1911

Tow rope bridge in the village of Lava – 1909

Trinity Cathedral in the city of Lalaturovsk – 1912

Trinity monastery in the city of Tumen – 1912

Tsar Aleksei Mikhaelovich’s gospel and Tsar Mikhael Feodorovich’s sacremental vessels in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov – 1911

Tsarist gifts to the Goritsky Monastery – 1909

Two men and a woman standing outside the Zlatoust arms plant – 1910

Two men and two boys in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Two men with a boat in Ostrechiny – 1909

Shir-Dar madrasa in Samarqand – between 1909-1915

Solovetsky Monastery – 1915

View of Tbilisi from St. David Church – between 1909-1915

View of Dalmatov Monastery from the Iset River – 1912

View of Tobolsk from Assumption Cathedral – 1912

Village of Kolchedan – 1912

Weighing station at the Chakva tea factory – between 1909-1915

Woman in Purdah standing next to a wooden door – between 1909-1915

Woman spinning yarn in the village of Izvedod – 1910

Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in the village of Pidma – 1909

Young woman in Malorossi (Ukraine) – between -1909-1915

Young women offer berries to visitors to their izbas – traditional wooden houses along the Sheksna River near Kirillov – 1909

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Travel agents experiencing increase in bookings since Covid-19 restrictions eased

Voice Of EU



Travel agents are experiencing an increase in inquires and bookings since the government announced the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions on Friday.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association, says there has been a “phenomenal” turn around in bookings, and travel agents are busy getting back to inquiries.

“We are looking at a healthy summer season, it’s the first time I’ve been positive in two years.”

He advised people to book their holidays early to avoid disappointment. “The longer you leave it, the dearer it will get. Mid-term break in February and Easter are almost full.”

Mr Dawson believes there is a pent-up demand. “There are some people who have money they haven’t spent, a big chunk of that will be spent on foreign holidays.”

John Spollen, director of Cassidy Travel in Dublin, says he has seen an increase in bookings over the weekend.

Popular destinations include Spain and Portugal, which have been Irish favourites for many years now, says Mr Spollen. There are also some bookings for the US, Jersey, Madeira and the Greek islands.

Peak travel

People should avoid peak travel times from mid June to the end of August and consider booking mid-week, early or late flights to get the best value, according to Mr Spollen.

“In May, September and October, the weather will be similar to summer weather.”

Mr Spollen added people should take out travel insurance and ensure their passport and driver’s licence are in date.

Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel in Cork said they have seen a huge increase in inquiries.

“We are not back to 2019 levels yet… the EU is a big destination. We have had a lot of inquires about mobile home holiday parks. Italy would be the most popular destination for this type of holiday, but Croatia is becoming almost as popular.”

There are also bookings for America coming in, as well as some couples celebrating their honeymoons belatedly, according to Mr Doorley.

It is important that people understand the restrictions in the country they are travelling to, he added, and they should check the Department of Foreign Affairs website regularly.

Aoife O’Donoghue is just one of the many Irish people who have not been on a holiday abroad in two years, and she is excited to be going to Barcelona at the end of March.

“A friend is moving over there in February, so myself and two other girls are going to visit her. It’s actually all our birthdays that weekend too,” she says.

The friends used to live together in Galway, and Ms O’Donoghue says it’s fantastic to have something to look forward to again.

The last time she went abroad was to Switzerland in January 2020. “Just as we were coming back there was news of the big Covid outbreak in Italy, so felt lucky to have gotten a holiday in before it all kicked off.”

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Property group clashes with council over Dundrum residential development

Voice Of EU



The owners of Dundrum Town Centre have clashed with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council over demands for more large apartments as they advance fast-track plans for a major residential development in the south Dublin village.

Property group Hammerson and insurer Allianz, which operate the new shopping complex in the area, have been in talks with An Bord Pleanála to build up to 889 apartments on the site of the old Dundrum shopping centre.

Their company, Dundrum Retail Ltd Partnership, has told the council it should scrap new requirements for “a minimum of three-plus bedroom units” in large apartment blocks that are included among proposed amendments to its draft county development plan.

In a submission last week to the council, the company said the new guidelines were in conflict with official rules that said there should be no minimum requirement for apartments with three or more bedrooms.

According to the company, the justification for the guidelines was based on fast-track strategic housing development permissions in the council area and “evidence” from certain boroughs in London.

“[Dundrum Retail Ltd Partnership] submit that the logic underpinning the policy is flawed and is not a basis for imposing prescriptive unit mix ratios on a countywide basis,” it said.

“The draft development plan needs to be amended to remove the very prescriptive requirement for apartments with three or more bedrooms and to allow applicants to make the case for a particular unit mix based on the particular attributes of local areas where a different mix might be appropriate.”

The company also told the council that proposed amendments to the development plan presented “contradictory or ambiguous objectives” in relation to proposals for a community, cultural and civic centre in the area.

Such objections were included among 106 submissions on the draft plan in a public consultation which closed last week. Numerous other developers and the Irish Home Builders Association lobby group also opposed the measures, some saying they would delay or prevent the delivery of new homes.

Asked about the submissions, the council said the response to any issues raised would be set out in a report by its chief executive to elected members which would be published. “It will be a decision of the elected members to adopt the plan and it is anticipated that this will take place in early March 2022. The plan will then come into effect six weeks later,” the council said.

Cost increase

In its submission, the Irish Home Builders Association said its members were concerned that the introduction of “further onerous standards” would increase the cost of delivering new homes and their price.

“This at a time when construction costs are already under huge inflationary pressure and affordability is a major issues for most home buyers,” said James Benson, director of the association.

“A key concern of the home-building sector in respect of the new plan is a lack of consistency with national planning guidelines/standards, which may be considered to be contrary to recent Government policy which sought to bring a greater extent of standardisation to national planning standards.”

The submission added: “The key concerns relate to the locational restriction and unit mix requirements for [build-to-rent] schemes, other standards for apartment developments which are more onerous/restrictive than the Government’s… guidelines, and the requirement for early delivery of childcare facilities in residential developments, all of which have the potential to impact adversely on the viability and affordability of housing in the county.”

Another builder, Park Developments, said in a submission the draft sought “more onerous policies, objectives and standards” that would have a direct effect on housing supply. “We are already seeing the impact of the chronic shortage in the supply of housing on the affordability of rental accommodation and homeownership.”

Castlethorn Construction said the blanket imposition of three-bedroom requirements “can only serve to militate against development of apartments” in the council area. It said the cost of delivering three-bed apartments was “very significant”, adding that demand was “not evident by reference to market sentiment, estate agents’ advice” and national policy imperatives.

Developer Hines, which has major interests in the Cherrywood strategic development zone, said in its submission that the logic underpinning requirements for more three-bedroom units was flawed.

“While making the case that recent development has been weighted towards one- and two-bed units, it fails to recognise that three-bed semi-detached and detached houses remain the predominant typology within [Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown] and that the [strategic housing development] permissions provide a much-needed mix of housing types within the county to redress this balance within the county.”

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Laicisation of Catholic priest in Tipperary causes disappointment and anger in parish

Voice Of EU



Standing in the family’s hardware store on Main Street in Carrick-on-Suir, Fiona Hearn remembers how Fr Richard Geoghegan gave her son First Holy Communion 15 years ago.

Today, Geoghegan is no longer a priest, following the Vatican’s decision to issue a laicisation order, with the history of the story up to that point a subject of disagreement.

The former parish priest at Ballyneale and past curate at St Nicholas Parish in Carrick-On-Suir announced on Twitter last week that he had been officially “dismissed by Rome” on January 7th.

“My Bishop was happy to dispense me. I’m a good man. And he talks about the shortage of vocations,” said Geoghegan, who entered the seminary in 1987 aged just 19, and he was ordained six years later.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Phonsie Cullinan, whose diocese extends over both the borders of Tipperary and Cork, has rejected Geoghegan’s charges.

Fr Richard Geoghegan
Fr Richard Geoghegan

Geoghegan had petitioned Pope Francis for laicisation last March and it was granted on December 15th, said the bishop: “I wish to acknowledge and thank Richard for his pastoral ministry over the years and wish him well for the future.”

Geoghegan came under fire from conservative Catholics following an appearance on hotelier Francis Brennan’s RTÉ show Grand Tour of Vietnam in 2017, wherein he performed in drag as singer Shirley Bassey, wearing a blonde wig and lipstick.

The TV appearance might not have done him any favours, Hearn accepts. “He is only human at the end of the day. He is well loved here in town. We’d love to have him back. I’d have nothing but deep respect for him,” she says.

“He is a real people’s person. Some older priests could be aloof. You couldn’t meet a nicer, more down to earth man. I think he has been pretty hard done by the Pope and the bishop.”

Hearn is not alone in her feelings, with many members of the tight-knit Catholic churchgoing community in Carrick-On-Suir and surrounding districts still shocked and disappointed by the turn of events.

Despite the bishop’s declaration that Geoghegan had himself applied to be laicised, the Association of Catholic Priests’ Tim Hazelwood describes his treatment as “inappropriate, unreasonable and unacceptable”.

In 2020, Hazelwood accompanied Geoghegan to a meeting with Bishop Cullinan, and his secretary.

“It was obvious from the meeting that he wanted Richard to apply for laicisation,” Hazelwood says. “That’s when Richard said he would have liked to be a curate…Richard found it difficult being on his own in a parish. He needed support,” Hazelwood adds.

“Obviously, the bishop had made up his mind,” says Hazelwood, “I was shocked, really because the majority of bishops would be supportive, but what I was hearing was really a put down.”

Geoghegan declined to comment when contacted.

Former parishioner, John Nolan said, “The Church is crying out for priests and is leaving a good man go. He was friends with everyone, an absolute gentleman. Anyone having a wedding here would look for him. I think it is all down to Bishop Phonsie. ”

Describing him as “a fantastic priest”, Carrick-on-Suir butcher Morris Whelan says was a great man. “He knew everyone by name. You’d meet him once and he knew your name forever. He was involved in the parish in every part of it.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor David Dunne remembers Geoghegan’s kindnesses during his mother’s illness.

“Everyone recognised him for the programme he did with Francis Brennan…It was fairly flamboyant and wasn’t in keeping with the Church, but it was typical of Fr Richard,” said Cllr Dunne, “He was always friendly, outgoing and is well-regarded. It is a major loss.”

Describing the former priest’s ability to engage, Luke Foran says: “One of my favourite memories of him is my brother’s Communion where he had all the kids gathered around and Richard’s phone rang, and who was on the phone only ‘Jesus’.

“You should have seen the kids’ faces drop. It was brilliant and he enthralled and captivated the whole place. He was ahead of his time. Richard humanised the priesthood and was a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Besides the memories, there is anger, too. Ashling Ní Fháthaigh said: “When he was saying mass the church was a lot fuller with a younger congregation. (He) was liked by so many and was punished for that.”

Believing that the church’s hierarchy has questions to answers, Margaret Croke says: “A church without compassion and understanding who can so readily dismiss a person who was so dedicated for so many years to its flock and to God really needs to change.”

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