RTÉ Archives were sad to hear of the passing of Robert Monks last week. Bob, as he was known to those who worked with him, had a fascinating career as a film cameraman and later as a researcher into Irish film in particular early Irish cinema.
Bob began his career in film with the National Film Institute initially as a technician before becoming a cameraman. Bob was one of the cameramen for the NFI's filming of the All Ireland Football and Hurling Finals.
After going freelance in 1955 Bob forged a long partnership with filmmaker Louis Marcus with work as diverse as 'Fleá Ceoil' (1967) and the Oscar nominated 'Conquest of Light' (1975). He photographed 'The One Nighters' looking at life on the road with the Royal Showband in 1963. Bob also filmed the Patrick MacGoohan television series 'The Prisoner'.
He was a chairman of the Society of Independent Film Makers and a founder-member of the Irish Film Workers’ Association (1973).
Working with producer Peter Canning Bob researched and conducted interviews for the RTÉ series 'Memories in Focus' (1995) looking at Irish film history.
In later years Bob helped to sort and catalogue the Liam O'Leary Archive at the National Library and produced a CD-ROM 'Cinema Ireland' in 1996 with the library. Bob continued to research, write and lecture on early Irish cinema and exhibition.
The accompanying photograph shows Bob in a shot taken in the RTÉ Stills Studio in April 1984. © RTÉ Stills Library 2193/009