The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland

The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland.

The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland

Presenting a part of the Murphy-Proud Collection of RARE 19th Century Illustrations from the original newspapers of the Illustrated London News (ILN) and The Graphic……… in this case the “The Graphic”.

Download our PDF Introduction to this Collection:

Murphy-Proud Introduction PDF



This LARGE framed and matted original print depicts The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland.

The scenes are a historic record of Irish lifestyles in and during the 19th Century.

The scenes were sketched and recorded by an unknown artist (initials R.J.H.) and appeared in a full page spread of “The Graphic” newspaper on 27th February 1892.

They feature 8 Scenes:-

  1. The quay at Valencia.
  2. Spinous Shark taken on Long Lines.
  3. Off the Cliffs of Moher.
  4. The Spring Mackerel Fishing, The Fleet in Berehaven, Co. Cork.
  5. A Galway Hooker.
  6. Mackerel Boat Leaving Valentia, Co. Kerry.
  7. The Professor Dissecting Fish.
  8. Boarding the Trawl.

As previously discussed, the 19th Century was a time of great upheaval in Ireland.

In the mid-19th Century you had the disastrous Potato Famine, mass death and emigration, mass tenant evictions and the formation of groups like the Land League, Home Rule and the Irish Republican Brotherhood or Fenians'.

Much of this discontent, was due to the GLARINGLY OBVIOUS problems with the class system that was operated, pretty much, throughout the British Empire.....but very OBVIOUSLY in Ireland. 

In Ireland, you had the Upper Class or Lorded Gentry who were 'top of the pile' (in every sense)........they lived in luxury and their lifestyles were mainly supported on the backs of tenant farmers who paid most of what they earned or grew to the local Lord or Landlord, in tithe or rent.

Then you had the middle class (or more like....Upper Middle Class). They were mainly people engaged in the 'noble' professions like, Lawyers, Barristers, Doctors, Civil Servants, Rent Agents, Shopkeepers, etc. They lived a comfortable lifestyle and were predominantly.......loyal to the British Empire. People like 'The Professor' in the second last sketch.

In Ireland, these people were commonly referred to by the poorer Irish people and rebels, as "West-Brits" due to their Anglophile natures and English type accents and lifestyles.

To this day....this phrase or somewhat derogatory 'tag' is still used in Ireland to refer to Anglophiles.

Then, you had the 'Lower Classes".....or 'The Working Classes'.........OR IN THE CASE of Ireland in the 19th Century.....'The Poor Class" !!

The latter, were made up of Irish people living in slums in the Cities (like Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway) 'scratching' a living as best they could and small tenant farmers and their families living in the Countryside. And, of course, fishermen who worked predominantly for the local Lord and the majority of their catch being 'appropriated' by the wealthy.

Amoungst the Poor Class, POVERTY was rife....STARVATION was rife.

Emigration was the ONLY hope for most..............and even this was unaffordable to many of them.

It cost money to book a passage to a new life in the "New World' ! 

Many were so poor and hungry they did not even survive the trans-Atlantic voyage......hence the term "Coffin Ships" !

These two Sketches are clearly targeting the English tourist fishing market. The scenes are beautiful, serene and idyllic.

Whilst they capture the true beauty of the South and West of Ireland.........they do not reflect the turmoil of Irish Society at that time.

Again, do not forget.....this was a British publication.....for a British audience or an audience loyal to the British Empire.

Either way, this piece is a glorious historical record of times past.






Fishing Industry in Ireland during the 19th Century:

For a good part of the nineteenth century Irish fisheries appeared to be under-funded and in decline. A system of government bounties was abandoned in 1830 and from this period until the 1890’s Irish fisheries were identified as a national resource for food and employment which was badly neglected and under-developed. (McCaughan, 122,1989) National figures for the number of men and boats active in the sea fisheries showed a decline. For example, in 1874 the Inspectors of Irish fisheries reported that the number of fishing boats were reduced to nearly a third of what they had been in 1846, while fishing crews shrunk to less than a quarter (R.I.I.F, 1874,367). A number of reasons have been proposed for such a decline. During this period Ireland suffered it’s greatest disaster in history. The potato blight resulting in the famine caused major population decrease. This coupled with emigration, deprivation and the lack of government loans for the repair and purchase of boats and equipment could only impoverish the fishing industry. However national statistics disguised regional exceptions. (McCaughan, 122,1989) Such exceptions are the herring fishery centred on the east coast of Ireland and the mackerel fishery based in the County Cork harbour of Kinsale on the south coast.


The Cliffs of Moher: One of the Natural Wonders of the World:

The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair)[1] are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland.[2][3] They rise 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head and reach their maximum height of 214 metres (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres to the north.[4] A round stone tower near the midpoint of the cliffs was built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien.[2][5] From the cliffs and from atop the tower, visitors can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway, and Loop Head to the south.[5] The cliffs rank amongst the most visited tourist sites in Ireland[6] and receive approximately one million visitors a year.[7] The closest settlements are Liscannor (6 km south) and Doolin (7 km north).


The Famous Galway Hooker: 

The Galway hooker (Irish: húicéir) is a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. The hooker was developed for the strong seas there. It is identified by its sharp, clean entry, bluff bow, marked tumblehome and raked transom. Its sail plan consists of a single mast with a main sail and two foresails. Traditionally, the boat is black (being coated in pitch) and the sails are a dark red-brown.

Recently there has been a major revival, and renewed interest in the Galway hooker, and the boats are still being painstakingly constructed. The festival of Cruinniú na mBád is held each year, when boats race across Galway Bay from Connemara to Kinvara on the Galway/Clare county boundary.




The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland.

This is an ORIGINAL copy of the print or illustration and is from the  Graphic's edition of the 27th February 1892.


The Graphic was a British weekly illustrated newspaper, first published on 4 December 1869 by William Luson Thomas's company Illustrated Newspapers Limited.

The influence of The Graphic within the art world was immense, its many admirers included Vincent Van Gogh, and Hubert von Herkomer.[1]

It continued to be published weekly under this title until 23 April 1932 and then changed title to The National Graphic between 28 April and 14 July 1932; it then ceased publication after 3,266 issues. From 1889 Luson Thomas's company, H. R. Baines and Co. published The Daily Graphic.




The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly news magazine; its inaugural issue appeared on Saturday, 14 May 1842. The magazine was published weekly until 1971, and less frequently thereafter. Publication ceased in 2003. The company continues today as Illustrated London News Ltd., a publishing, content and digital agency in London, England. The publication and business archives of The Illustrated London News and the Great Eight Publications are held by Illustrated London News Ltd.

llustrated London News founder Herbert Ingram was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1811, and opened a printing, newsagent and bookselling business in Nottingham around 1834 in partnership with his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Cooke.[1] As a newsagent, Ingram was struck by the reliable increase in newspaper sales when they featured pictures and shocking stories. Ingram began to plan a weekly newspaper that would contain pictures in every edition.[2]

Ingram rented an office, recruited artists and reporters, and employed as his editor Frederick William Naylor Bayley (1808–1853), formerly editor of the National Omnibus. The first issue of The Illustrated London News appeared on Saturday, 14 May 1842, timed to report on the young Queen Victoria's first masquerade ball.[3] Its 16 pages and 32 wood engravings covered topics such as the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a survey of the candidates for the US presidential election, extensive crime reports, theatre and book reviews, and a list of births, marriages and deaths. Ingram hired 200 men to carry placards through the streets of London promoting the first edition of his new newspaper.[4]

Costing sixpence, the first issue sold 26,000 copies. Despite this initial success, sales of the second and subsequent editions were disappointing. However, Ingram was determined to make his newspaper a success, and sent every clergyman in the country a copy of the edition which contained illustrations of the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by this means secured a great many new subscribers.

Its circulation soon increased to 40,000 and by the end of its first year was 60,000. In 1851, after the newspaper published Joseph Paxton's designs for the Crystal Palace before even Prince Albert had seen them, the circulation rose to 130,000. In 1852, when it produced a special edition covering the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, sales increased to 150,000; and in 1855, mainly due to the newspaper reproducing some of Roger Fenton's pioneering photographs of the Crimean War (and also due to the abolition of the Stamp Act that taxed newspapers), it sold 200,000 copies per week.[4]

Competitors soon began to appear: Lloyd’s Illustrated Paper was founded later that year, while Reynold's Newspaper'' opened in 1850; both were successful Victorian publications, albeit less successful than The Illustrated London News.[5] Andrew Spottiswoode's Pictorial Times lost £20,000 before it was sold to Ingram by Henry Vizetelly, who had left the ILN to found it.[6] Ingram folded it into another purchase, The Lady's Newspaper, which became The Lady's Newspaper and Pictorial Times. Vitezelly was also behind a later competitor, The Illustrated Times in 1855, which was similarly bought out by Ingram in 1859.[5]

Ingram's other early collaborators left the business in the 1850s. Nathanial Cooke, his business partner and brother-in-law, found himself in a subordinate role in the business and parted on bad terms around 1854. 1858 saw the departure of William Little, who, in addition to providing a loan of £10,000, was printer and publisher of the paper for 15 years. Little's relationship with Ingram deteriorated over Ingram's harassment of their mutual sister-in-law.[1]

Herbert Ingram died on 8 September 1860 in a paddle-steamer accident on Lake Michigan, and he was succeeded as proprietor by his youngest son, William, who in turn was succeeded by his son, Sir Bruce Ingram (1877–1963) in 1900, who remained as editor until his death.





This Book deals with the Artist....Mr. Aloysius O’Kelly.


The Murphy-Proud Collection is a large Privately acquired and held collection of ORIGINAL Illustrated London News (and some from the Graphic) illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries........all featuring Irish related stories, themes and illustrations. They have been in the family's ownership and possession for some time and are only now being released for sale.

What makes these illustrations ALL THE MORE INTERESTING historically, is the fact that they view the 'Irish Problem" from a distinctly British point of view. After all, the Illustrated London News was a London publication. The illustrations can even be categorized as being British propaganda pieces. You will note that many of the descriptions of the Irish and the events unfolding are dealt with in a manner that is 'less sympathetic' to the Irish point of view and much more leaning towards the 'troublemaker', 'vagabond' depiction of the Irish !! They are Historically accurate in that the events did happen......but distinctly 'biased' in their interpretations of what was happening !!! This makes them an ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING historical record.

The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland.

This is your chance to acquire an ORIGINAL piece of Irish History from the dates when the events were ACTUALLY OCCURRING !!

These are not to be confused with reprints that are available to buy online.


Certificate of Authenticity Illustrations

If you are Irish, Irish-American, Anglo-Irish or just a lover of all things historic then these prints are for you !!

Check out the Murphy-Proud Collection in greater detail on our Website and see the vast array of Irish related topics dealt with by these are BOUND to find one or more that you will love and MUST HAVE !!

The Fishing Industry on the West Coast of Ireland.

Condition: Overall in near MINT condition. It has been framed in a simple plain black frame with acid free matting and back board.

Provenance: From the Murphy-Proud Family

The Framing and Matting alone is worth $150.00.

Dimensions: 20.5" x  15.5" in Frame

We have 2 of these prints.

Price: $380.00 SALE PRICE NOW: $330.00