50 years since the establishment of An Óige (Irish Youth Hostel Association) is marked with a photographic exhibition.

Anyone from five years upwards can join An Óige.

An Óige was established with the objectives of fostering an appreciation of the countryside, of Irish heritage and of international cooperation. The provision of hostels would make all this possible. 50 years on An Óige has over 28,000 members. 

To mark the anniversary a photographic exhibition was opened by President Hillery at the Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot Street in Dublin. 

An Óige was brought to Ireland by Terry Trench with the establishment of the first hostel in Glendalough, Co Wicklow in 1931. Since 1931 the organisation has had 4.5 million members worldwide. 

In this RTÉ News report Brendan O'Brien visits Knockree Hostel in county Wicklow, which is typical of the type of accommodation on offer at hostels throughout the country. O'Brien talks to Ronnie Connolly of An Óige about the standard of accommodation offered by hostels in Ireland. 

The hostels we have are fairly basic. They just provide accommodation and cooking facilities. 

Ronnie also describes the structure and objectives of the voluntary association. 

An RTÉ News report by Brendan O'Brien broadcast on 23 June 1981.