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

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 later An Óige has over 28,000 members. 

Anyone from five years upwards can join An Óige.

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. 

Knockree Hostel in county Wicklow is typical of the type of accommodation on offer at hostels throughout the country. Ronnie Connolly of An Óige talks about the standard of accommodation offered by hostels in Ireland. 

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

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 June 1981. The reporter is Brendan O'Brien.