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Mystery of Achill photo solved after 50 years

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A whole host of Mayo News readers in Achill identified Christine and PJ Masterson, and Prince the dog, from this Times Past picture published in last week’s edition.
MYSTERY SOLVED
A whole host of Mayo News readers in Achill identified Christine and PJ Masterson, and Prince the dog, from this Times Past picture published in last week’s edition.

Mystery of Achill photo taken in 1962 solved by The Mayo News


Anton McNulty

antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie

WHEN retired doctor Beatty Crawford came across an old photograph in his Belfast home of two young children and their dog taken while on holidays in Achill 50 years ago, he wondered who they were what had become of them. A brainwave came upon him to find out so he contacted The Mayo News to see if the paper could print the photograph and help identify the two children.
Last Tuesday morning, Mary Masterson McFadden’s phone in her Achill home never stopped ringing with people telling her to buy The Mayo News because her brother and sister were in the paper.
“All day the phone kept ringing, it was like winning the lotto,” she laughed. The two children in the photo were Mary’s sister Christine and her brother PJ Masterson from the village of Carraig, along with their dog Prince.
“They were coming up from Martán Rua’s shop with a loaf and a pound of sausages on a Saturday, which was a treat back then,” she explained. “They were eight and ten years old but they haven’t changed a bit and people who knew them were able to recognise them straight away.”
The photo was taken around 1962 when Beatty was a young medical student and on holiday in Achill during the summer with a group of other medical students.
“I remember it was a beautiful day and I was a keen photographer when I was young. I was taking photos when these two children came walking along the road. One of the children was walking with a loaf of bread and it was one of the nicest photos I’ve taken and I kept it in my collection.
“I was spring cleaning recently and I came upon it and I was thinking what became of those children and if people would know them. I then contacted the paper and I am delighted that they were recognised and they are alive and well. I would love to send a copy of the photograph to them,” Beatty told The Mayo News.
PJ is currently living in Barnet in north London and Christine is living in Newcastle and both regularly come home to Achill to visit their 85-year-old mother, Bridget at her home in Carraig. They are due to be home in the summer when their uncle Pat Masterson celebrates his 100th birthday in June.
Mary has been in contact with both PJ and Christine but neither can remember it being taken because they were just walking along the road and not posing for the photograph. She said that two Mayo News’s were being sent to England to show them the now famous photo.
Beatty explained that he regularly travelled to Achill in the 1960s when he was a young medical student before e spending 35 years in America working as a radiologist. He is the founder, owner and CEO of Radiology International, Inc. As well as that he also has a passion for rally racing and has competed as a navigator in a number of car rallies around Ireland.

HAVE YOUR SAY email antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie with your comments

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