Primary Resources

This resource gallery has been developed to be used for pre visit preparatory work and for post visit reference. You will find a range of primary documents and material here that links to the themes in each unit. By clicking on any image below you can access background information on the source and also find out where it came from and where it is currently held.

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An Tóstal: Ireland at home

Irish Tourist Board Poster
National Library of Ireland TVL/1950-60/4 National Library of Ireland TVL/1950-60/4
Printed matter on paper 100 x 62 cm


This image of Ireland dates from the middle of the last century and is a good example of the type of marketing used by the Irish Tourist Board (now Fáilte Ireland) to illustrate the An Tóstal Festival in 1954.

These festivals were inaugurated in 1953 as a celebration of Irish life and culture with the emphasis on drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. As can be seen from the poster, symbols of Ireland and Irish characteristics are a major feature of the design. Other similar festival posters in the Library collection  feature regional arts, sporting activities and parades.

As a by product of the festival many towns began to plan clean ups, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards – a scheme that is still running today. While the Tóstal Festival has largely died out,  it is interesting to note that Fáilte Ireland still support and promote regional festivals.

Open Resource