The Irish Film Institute and the National Library of Ireland are collaborating to preserve and catalogue the archive of Liam O’Leary (1910-1992); a founding member of the Irish Film Society, actor, writer, film researcher, historian, archivist and overall film fanatic. O’Leary laid the foundation stone of the Irish Film Archive, in April 1992, where his film collection is now preserved. The Liam O’Leary Archive, which was donated to the National Library of Ireland in 1986 comprise O’Leary’s papers relating to his research into Irish film, filmmakers and cinemas, and his personal collection of correspondence and film memorabilia.
More information on the collection can be found on a regular blog for the IFI; http://www.ifi.ie/liam-oleary-blog-4
Liam O’Leary was also involved in making some films in the 1940s-1950s in Ireland, including the party political film ‘Our Country’ for Clann na Poblachta and the public service films ‘Mr. Careless Goes to Town’ and ‘Safe Cycling’; which are both on the IFI Player. http://ifiplayer.ie/mr-careless-goes-to-town/; http://ifiplayer.ie/safe-cycling/
The films were produced by the National Film Institute for the Department of Local Government in 1949 and directed by Liam O’Leary.‘Mr. Careless Goes to Town’ shows the dangers and consequences of drunk driving while also showing how to drive well on city and country roads. ‘Safe Cycling’ is a more light-hearted film illustrating the history of the bicycle (including the penny-farthing and the bone-shaker) and how to stay safe, cycling on Irish roads. The films are a great chance to see Dublin city in 1949; with images of the Theatre Royal Cinema (no doubt a nod from Liam O’Leary to his love of cinema), and tramlines around the city.