Bridging the gap

Download this image

More from this collection

Support Pastpin!

Where: Unknown

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1920

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
The original title on this Hogan-Wilson image is "Bridge blown up - Unidentified location" and I suspect that it will not be easily identified today? No posters, doubtful 'Streetview' availability and few other clues so we will probably be down to newspaper articles? It is a pity that the shot is not sharper as any clues that might be there are dulled!

While the image seems to date from the middle of the War of Independence (1919-1921), our intrepid contributors highlight the lack of debris in the picture - suggesting the image was taken some time after its destruction. While this might help eliminate any acts of sabotage from later in the conflict, Rory_Sherlock tells us that there were many hundreds of such events on railway bridges alone. Making date an unlikely 'clue' to identify a location. The topography and make-up of the bridge however have suggested some possible leads.....

Photographer: W. D. Hogan

Collection: Hogan Wilson Collection

Date: 1920

NLI Ref.: HOG173

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 9645
hoganwilsoncollection wdhogan nationallibraryofireland bridge demolished warofindependence ireland horseandcart river riverbed

Add Tags
  • profile

    domenico milella

    • 12/Jan/2018 08:48:12

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

  • profile

    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 12/Jan/2018 09:07:42

    I don't know where it is but that man standing on the cart with the two milk churns really does bring back memories!

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 09:17:25

    A map on p690 of the new 'Atlas of the Irish Revolution' includes 207 entries for attacks on bridges under railways between 28/6/1922 and 31/12/1922... But is this a railway bridge?

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 12/Jan/2018 09:21:25

    This one's a toughie!

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 09:26:29

    If it's a railway bridge it's a long time afer it was blown up. The tracks would still be there otherwise.

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 09:40:04

    [[email protected]] All the rubble and stone has been removed too

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 09:40:12

    The texture of the masonry surface suggests it's granite, so a geological map might narrow down possible regions, assuming the stone was sourced locally. The low water level and full vegetation imply that it's probably some time in summer and the rubble has already been mostly cleared, so if the 1920 date is accurate, I suppose we're looking for a bridge that was destroyed in the first two thirds of 1920 or earlier, probably in an area with quarryable granite near the surface?

  • profile

    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 12/Jan/2018 09:53:03

    It seems to me that this was a conventional road bridge that was destroyed some time previously. The locals seem to have developed a 'work-around' route to the creamery evidenced by the well-worn river banks.

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 10:18:20

    [[email protected]] The middle of the bridge is just mud. It could all be in the river, though I suspect you're correct. I think I saw in other search results that there were a few bridges blown up in 1916 and 1919 - maybe it's one of them?

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 10:21:29

    Also, when were all the border bridges blown up - Was that as early as the 20's or was that post 1949?

  • profile


    • 12/Jan/2018 10:45:08

    Judging by the gate leaning against the remains of the bridge, it looks like they diverted down the embankment, out through the gateway onto and across the road where the cart is, then must have followed a route up to the higher road again. Inconvenient but it doesn't look like it stopped anyone for very long. But if it was blown up as part of a specific ambush it might have been very effective. I wonder how old it was at the time of its destruction.

  • profile

    John A. Coffey

    • 12/Jan/2018 12:36:02

    A bridge to far, maybe.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Jan/2018 14:17:01

    [[email protected]] Very funny!!

  • profile

    maorlando - God keeps me as I lean on Him!!

    • 12/Jan/2018 19:42:43

    Always enlightening and interesting!!! Thank you!!!

  • profile


    • 13/Jan/2018 03:32:43

    There was a "Bridges Job" around Dublin, in 1922.

  • profile

    Sunny Harry

    • 13/Jan/2018 11:19:31

    it looks like a road bridge over a dried out river and there must be a cremary near by I think it's in Kerry near listowel

  • profile

    Salty Windows

    • 13/Jan/2018 18:48:39

    The walls on either side of the stream are not in line with each other suggesting a slight bend. Unlikely to be a rail bridge so.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 14/Jan/2018 06:13:22

    [] [] Interesting, do tell more. (While I've updated the description to include some of the "clues" to date, if you can share anything on your thoughts/thinking, it may prompt similar brainwaves from others :) )

  • profile

    Salty Windows

    • 15/Jan/2018 15:06:30

    It may be just a trick of the lens though, especially if it was a wide angle lens. Not unusual to have a bend at a bridge though:,-6.9570518,3a,75y,180h,99....

  • profile

    abandoned railways

    • 20/Jan/2018 11:34:57

    A railway viaduct. A road only bridge would not need the hieght or width associated with a wide, low valley embankment like this one. Assuming it was built pre-combustion engine era.