New print available of ‘Big Wave Lahinch’ at my online store.
New print available of ‘Big Wave Lahinch’ at my online store.
I have the great pleasure of being invited to take part in the Nutgrove Arts Festival 2015 with The Doorway Gallery of South Fredrick Street in Dublin.
I have six photographs on display and the festival runs to Sunday October 18th.
Nutgrove Arts Festival is an annual celebration of community arts and culture, taking place in the unique setting of Nutgrove Shopping Centre in South County Dublin. Now in its fifth year, the festival has become an integral part of the local area’s cultural calendar.
A few weeks ago I traveled to the Kingdom of county Kerry to the Dingle peninsula. It was a cold and wet Friday for the month of July. The Dingle peninsula is arguably the most westerly part of Ireland and the western end of it is a Gaeltacht (an Irish speaking area). It is an incredibly beautiful part of Ireland and all around the coast of the peninsula are vista after vista. The 1970 film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ which is set not long after the 1916 Easter rising was partially filmed in a village on the Dingle peninsula.
Saturday proved to be a much more agreeable day and so I set off early on the Slea Head drive which encompasses most of the awe inspiring scenic parts of the Dingle peninsula. I don’t usually like to take many photos in the middle of the day but on this trip I felt that the weather could turn nasty at any time and I wanted to take as many shots as possible.
The first stop was at an old thatched famine cottage in an area called ‘Fahan’ which I believe is part of ‘Ventry’. It had been restored and is now a mini museum of how the local people lived in the mid 19th century. I was very struck by the horses, donkeys and ponies that where casually grazing outside. It’s very common to see equine animals in the west of Ireland and they make great subjects for my photographs The cottage was wonderfully restored and apart from the occasional dressed up manakin it was actually very believable.
Just opposite the cottage is the famous Dúnbeag promontory fort which has been there since the Iron Age. In a recent storm a section of the fort actually fell into the sea due in part to erosion and part to the storm. I didn’t really take a lot of photographs of the fort as it is very flat to the ground and difficult to shoot. I did capture some dramatic waves crashing against the cliffs below though. I will post those at a later time.
There are quite a few promontories or ‘heads’ as you travel the Slea Head drive. By far my favourite is Dúnmore Head. I captured this shot just as the clouds started rolling in from the Atlantic. In all the places in Ireland that I have travelled it still astounds me what natural beauty I have still to see and photograph.
This week I had the great pleasure to do a pod-cast interview with Canadian writer and journalist Hubert O’Hearn for ‘Hispanic News Online’.
We talked about my history as a musician and how I became an Irish landscape photographer.
I met Hubert about three years ago when he first came from Canada to live in Ireland. We instantly had a lot in common as he was big into the Beatles and I grew up in Liverpool (Beatles City).
The Islander by Tomás Ó Criomhthain
Life on the Blasket Islands…
Tomás Ó Criomhthain had four sisters, Maura, Kate, Eileen and Nora, and a brother, Pats. His personality was well-grounded in intimate affection and respect for his parents who lived to a ripe old age. The only, minor, disharmony arose between himself and Nora who was five years older than he. She had been the family favourite until Tomás arrived “unexpectedly”. Her jealousy of him created friction between them.
He married Máire Ní Chatháin in 1878. She bore ten children but many died before reaching adulthood: One boy fell from a cliff while hunting for a fledgling gull to keep as a pet among the chickens; others died of measles and whooping cough; their son Domhnall drowned while attempting to save a woman from the sea; others were taken by other misfortunes. Máire herself died while still relatively young. Their son Seán wrote a book, Lá dar Saol (A Day in Our Life), describing the emigration of the remaining islanders to the mainland and America when the Great Blasket was finally abandoned in the 1940s and 50s.
He wrote two books, Allagar na h-Inise (Island Cross-Talk) written over the period 1918–23 and published in 1928, and An t-Oileánach (The Islandman), completed in 1923 and published in 1929. Both have been translated into English.
Born in 1856, this autobiography ‘The Islander’ spans a whole lifetime. O Crohan himself died in 1937. The book is full to the brim with adventure, sadness and countless interesting characters. More than anything though, it captures on paper a world that is long gone, where people fought against the elements and faced hardship on a daily basis. Death was a regular occurrence, but people on the Blaskets just had to get on with life and focus on securing the next meal.
Slea Head and the Blasket Islands. Mounted prints available here from €25.
The Famine Cottages were built in the mid nineteenth century and originally housed the Long and then the Kavanagh family. The cottages were located in Fán, Ventry County Kerry on the lands of the Earl of Cork. The family lived in this house during one of the worst famines to strike Western Europe – The Great Irish Famine.
One family who lived in the house had an especially sad tale to tell. In the mid to late 1800’s Mary Long’s brother was living in the house. He and his wife had the bad fortune of having six of their children die at birth. Whether this was due to poor health and living conditions of the time is unknown. However as the children all had not been baptised before death the church would not allow them to be buried in a graveyard of the church. The parents had no choice but to bury them on their own land. They were all laid to rest just a few hundred yards from the cottage where a simple but crude stone cross marks their grave.
The largest of the cottages was inhabited up until the 1950’s when the last of the Kavanaghs (Tomás Ó Cíobháin) left the cottage. Included in the grounds of the cottages is an early Christian burial mound thought to be where the unbaptised children were buried. An early Christian stone carving and stone cross are visible within the mound. The elevation of the site gives a fantastic panoramic view of nearby prehistoric Dúnbeg Fort, Dingle Bay, South kerry and Skellig Rocks on a clear day.
Located in Fán, Ventry, County Kerry.
Credit – Discoverireland.ie
The Three Sisters
Ballyferriter is a coastal community on the Dingle Way. Its waters are sheltered by a range of cliffs more affectionately known as the “Three Sisters”. The most northerly of these sisters is Binn Diarmada and it was this landmark to be the first part of Europe to greet Lindbergh as he flew the first trans-Atlantic flight in the “Spirit of Saint Louise” back in 1927. He touched down in Paris successfully afterwards.
The Dingle Peninsula
In the early hours of an October morning in 2013 a major wind storm hit the east coast of Ireland. I was lucky to be living in a beautiful penthouse apartment in Dun Laoghaire at the time and I awoke to hear the rain smashing against the windows. As I looked out I could see the waves crashing high over the sea wall but I noticed they were at their highest at the old abandoned public baths. I quickly got my camera gear and rushed out.
The wind was terrific as I struggled to make my way to the seafront which was only a few hundred metres away. I saw that I was not the only photographer with the same idea. Many of them were totally soaked by the waves that were engulfing everything in their path. There were two things on my mind. Firstly was my own safety and second was protecting my camera.
I climbed up onto the wall of the old baths which in reflection was most likely a very bad idea. Struggling to keep my balance in the wind and pulling the hood of my parka right over my camera I took this shot. It was published a few days later along with some other frames that I had taken in the Dun Laoghaire Gazette newspaper.
Purchase a signed and mounted copy of this print in the shop here:
After a few false starts and mixed up dates, those picturesque hippies at the Greystones Camera Club have finally got this year’s Photography Exhibition together.
The fourth year the GCC have shown their considerable wares to the great unwashed (that’s you, by the way), this year’s exhibition will be unveiled by renowned local photographer Colm Jackson. Well, when we say local, Colm actually lives in Bray, but the GCC have organised a 24-hour visa for the night. And you can see why when you go check out Colm’s work right here.
The Greystones Camera Club’s 4th Annual Photography Exhibition takes place from July 30th to August 6th at Hillside Church, Hillside Road, Greystones, running every day until 6pm. The grand opening, on Thursday 30th, is from 7pm to 9pm.
You can view more of the GCC’s fine work by clicking on the illustration above, or you can visit their Facebook page by clicking on the link below.
Greystones Camera Club proudly invite you to the Opening Night of our 4th Annual Photography Exhibition 2015.
The Exhibition will be opened by Colm Jackson a renowned photographer living locally in Bray. www.colmjackson.com
Venue: Hillside Church, Hillside Road, Greystones (see map on the poster)
Time: 7pm-9pm Thursday 30th July.
The Exhibition runs every day up to and including Thursday 6th August, closing at 6pm.
Originally published on Greysonesguide.ie
I spent a fantastic few days last weekend in Dingle. Friday was taken up with traveling and stoped off on the way in Killarney. Later in the evening we met up with friends for a drink in O’Sullivan’s Courthouse pub where the trad music and the craic was ideal.
The weather cleared on the Saturday and I set of on the ‘Slea Head Drive’ which took me all around the Dingle peninsula. There were amazing views of the Blasket Islands, Dún Beag, Dunmore Head and the Three sisters.
I took nearly 1000 frames so it’s going to take me a while to get through them but here are a few to be going on with.
The craggy rocks of Slea Head.
I have been wanting to shoot these rocks for a long time. They are the Blasket Islands in the background.
Irish Cottage and Pony.
To me this is a classic ‘Ireland’ shot. The pony and the thatch cottage. He was really very friendly and posed for me with patience.
The Blasket Islands
The Blasket Islands are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland. They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population.
In the 1920s and 1930s the Blasket Island writers produced books which are deemed classics in the world of literature. They wrote of Island people living on the very edge of Europe, and brought to life the topography, life and times of their Island. They wrote all of their stories in the Irish language.
Sadly, the Blasket Islands community declined as a result of the persistent emigration of its young people, until eventually the Islands were evacuated in 1953 when only 22 inhabitants remained. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts.
All these photographs are available in the shop as high quality prints from a little as €25. Worldwide shipping included. Click Here.