This RTÉ Radio report describes the opening of An Tóstal. PP O’Reilly describes the scenes on O’Connell Street from the top of the G.P.O. as a “mass of people” gather for the parade.
‘The Bowl of Light’ was a specially commissioned centrepiece ornament to celebrate An Tóstal that was placed on O’Connell Street, Dublin. While the bowl was meant as a permanent fixture, it’s presence on O’Connell Street was short-lived following controversy over its design and what it represented.
On Easter Sunday around Ireland, parades, pageantry and marching bands, were the order of the day.
An Tóstal was a series of festivals inaugurated in 1953 and running until 1958 celebrating Irish life. The festival aimed to promote Irish culture and attract tourists to Ireland during this period. There were parades, sporting events and arts festivals organised as a means of attracting visitor to Irish shores.
The modern day version of An Tóstal is 'The Gathering Ireland 2013' which has a similar set of objectives.
This report features Padraigh O'Raghallaigh and P.P. O'Reilly commenting on the An Tóstal parade down Dublin's O'Connell Street.
Shown here are the preparations under way around Dublin city centre and a parade on O'Connell Street. This is rare colour footage of Dublin city centre from 1953. This clip is mute as is much of the footage from the Hodgson collection. This film was shot by Norman Hodgson (1905-1974). Born in Lenzie in Scotland, Norman married Marjorie Towers in 1932 and came to live in Skerries, Co. Dublin in the late 1930s. He was an avid amateur film-maker who recorded many sporting and social highlights of Irish life in the late 1940s and 1950s. Norman's films were deposited with the RTÉ Archives by his family and are known as the Hodgson Collection.