Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Difficult as it is to move away from home and make a fresh start one person who is rising to the challenge and is full of optimism for the life ahead is Graham martin.
Graham, from Loughshinny, sat there for me a couple of weeks ago.He took time out from seasonal work grading veg for the christmas market to make the shoot.Being one of seven photographers I have photographed over this project Graham, like the others has an keen sense of the importance of this documentation. In fact emigration  is as much an important part of the fabric of the Irish psyche as it is the destruction of Irish society.

Sunday, 4 December 2011



I have got to say a big thanks to all at the Irish Times for affording me my first ever Full page broadsheet piece(web version here)Thanks Ciara and the features Editor for elaevating my project.
One of my main reasons for making contact with the paper was to let more peole know about my project and to let them  know that the project was still going.
I am still shooting and I would like more sitters to get in touch with me.
So if there is anyone you know who is about to make this big move please point them to this page or my viewbook site where thy will find my contact details.
you can find me at dmon@me.com or call on 087 2247020
You can be guaranteed of a great night shoot and a fantastic momento of a time of significant meaning in your own personal history.

Friday, 2 December 2011


Meet Conor McMahon,you may have met before here on the liliputian(click here)Conor left his home in Dublin Back in August 2010 and had this to say at the time about the house he was leaving behind"The house is my home and the store of all my effort this last few years. A place to get together with the lads to work on the tunes, or other times where I might draw, conceive new ideas for my next exhibition. It is also my home in this cul-de-sac neighbourhood where I have found myself very much part of the extended neighbourhood family that I became part of 7 years ago now."

Saturday, 26 November 2011


Phew when Friday arrived this week I was delighted! Its been really hard the last few years working so much more then before most of it not showing any monetary reward.
But we keep the head down and keep plugging away and try to follow through to completion on every new avenue of opportunity that opens up.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Last Friday I had a call from Jade O Callaghan, I was to photograph her on the following Sunday and had just been introduced to her by her good friend and fellow sitter Claire Weir.
Jade told me that she was going a little sooner than she though and she had just recieved her itinerary for travel and she was leaving on Saturday morning. Although Jade was having a farewell dinner with her boyfriend Aiden and her parents she arranged the photographic session for 10 that night before leaving for Kuwait the next day!

Saturday, 22 October 2011


On Wednesday night last I took the drive out to Stillorgan, Co Dublin a pretty established suburb about 4 to 5 miles from the city centre. Driving through it's busy centre I could not help but notice the vacant shops which have become synonymous with these times. Towards the end of the town there stands a very large site   that speaks volumes and articulates for me the rot that has set in and is eating away at our country.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Its been all of 3 weeks since my last post and this has given me time to reflect on the "Leaving Dublin"
project and assess what has been going on.

Yesterday I looked at an autumnal shoot from last November and was amazed to find that at that point we where still a sovereign nation (although only days from the bailout)
Looking around now it is very disheartening to see where we are as a nation and I understand why Emmanuelle  Pinjon And her Fiancee Guglielmo Casu are making a dash for the relative safety of Paris.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I would now like to welcome my first guest writer to my blog a Man with insight on his way to London.
The following are his words

 Neil Callanan has moved to London after six months as a freelance journalist. Prior to that, he was business editor of The Sunday Tribune when it shut its doors in February.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Siobhán Meade and Karen Redmond have had enough! The good friends and G.A.A. rivals are off to Australia tomorrow in search of adventure. The adventure their working life here in Dublin failed to deliver. After college and then specialist training both would have taken up positions in teaching (Primary school) and chefing (Special diet chef in Temple Street Children's Hospital) respectfully.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Meet Brigid Dunne another brave Dubliner facing down the negativity and the naysayers and moving on.
On to a new city,where new challenges,obstacles,and opportunities all coincide to give a person receptive to change a new and fresh perspective on life, but without a safety net!!

Sunday, 14 August 2011


Last july I presented my work Leaving Dublin to The Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School in Kiltyclogher,county Leitrim.
It was a very positive experience and it forced me to think of my work in the  broader context of migration and documentation of  the movements of people.My Presentation lasted for 30 minutes and I finished it with a specially prepared video piece which was warmly received by all who viewed it.
The experience affirmed my aspirations and made me feel a true sense of achievement as it was obvious that the work presented has and will continue to grow in historical significance as a documentation of the phenomena all to familiar to several generations of Irish,and indeed to several other cultures around the word.

Sunday, 7 August 2011


Through the process of shooting this project I have met  with so many people, each  one with their own story.In a lot of cases movement from Dublin was a necessity forced upon the person by one circumstance or another . Initially my call for participants looked for people who were moving for financial reasons, but as time  passes I realise that there are other reasons for peoples wanderings and in the interest of presenting a fuller picture of Irelands new diaspora all movers must be represented to one extent or  another.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I have to admit typing this post from a different machine in a different country has phased me a little.
There is no doubt about it that familiarity makes us all feel very comfortable and we become very cosy when we operate from inside our comfort zone.It makes the act of composition a very straightforward one.
But faced with this awkward feeling of typing in a different location really stresses to me the hugeness of all the people who have sat with me over the last year and a half
All of these people without exception have found themselves in situations which placed them far from  the comfort of their homes and families. One such person is   Glaucia Torres Quintanilha who spent 3 years in Dublin working as a child minder.Now she is returning home to that comfort zone knowing that things there will have changed somewhat whilst she was away. here is what she had to say

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Last monday myself,Artur,Ray,Mel,and Emma,were joined at Dun Laoighre Marina by Melanie Croxon a young Glenageary teacher preparing to take up a new teaching post in the Middle East.
We were also joined by Mels good friend and mine Jeannie Wenham a person who has put me in touch with many a leaver!
Jeannie and Mel have put out from this Marina on several racenights and over many summers and have enjoyed crewing boats as often as they could.
This is the place that means so much to Mel and she is very sad to leave it,but being a young out of work teacher is not in her plan so she is all packed and waiting for the word to go.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Meet Jurgen Alexander a young man with a future!
In this life we have got to strive for what we want. Through hard work and application all is achievable.
Jurgen has worked as designer to the wexford festival opera since graduating from the Grafton academy.
you can see some of his work here.
Jurgen  has aspirations as a couturier  and so he is off to study in London to fulfill his dream of becoming a major force in the field of fashion and  design.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


its been over 3 weeks since my last post and I am feeling a little withdrawn,but really glad to be back tonight.
I got caught up chasing a load of books around a copy stand and it took up way more time than it was supposed to.So sorry to any one who may have been hanging on for a post!! Sorry especially to Tady Walsh and his Wife Milena who I photographed some 4 weeks ago before they departed for Quimper
in Brittany(France).

Saturday, 11 June 2011


I had another one of those beautiful experiences in Kilmainham last week.I met with a family who where just about to ship out to Holland. they had been guided to my project by a friend and they liked what they saw.It was in the eleventh hour that they had made contact with me so there was no time to physically scout the site,but we put our heads together and came up with a location where I knew there were a few good angles and plenty of space to do the shoot.

  These are the Brichard -Rooneys Ken,Severine,and and the beautiful Leonore.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Two weeks ago now I met with Sabrina del Pico, an Italian from Rome who having lived here and enjoyed it a lot,had decided  to go back to Rome to try life in her home town once more.
She had been in Dublin for several years and  lived at the photo location on the south circular road for some years.The garden at her house was a particular favourite place for her and indeed it proved to be a very special place for me to!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


I was delighted to be asked last friday to speak at the launch of the Griffith College Graduate Photography Exhibition.
It was a fantastic night with great work and very well attended.On the night I was phased by a very well researched intro about myself(twas very strange,but indeed gratifying to hear my own words quoted),the Heat of the heaving Auditorium,and crowd hum.The Net result of this was that I paused mid flight for about 20 seconds and jumped straight to the end of my prepared short talk.
The thrust of my message was to encourage the graduates to continue the great work they had achieved with this show and I feel from feed back on the night they got the message.
However there were some things I only pointed at and now I will expand on those for the record!

Last year I attended the first graduate show of this program and was blown away!
The same is true of this years show.In short the work acknowledges the many facets which exist in modern photography without getting hung up on any one.These strands are then skillfully held together with technical skill and proficiency with the medium underlying all works.
The course program is skillfully put together as to allow participants to freely explore their desired area whilst acquiring the skill sets to propel them forward into the profession of photography!
There is no doubt that more colleges will have an eye to the model honed by the course authors at Griffith, and I await with some pleasure to watch outputs mutate as other students are unfettered from the restraints previously placed upon their creativity.

It is interesting that the photoireland festival had its first year last year also and my interest there was also to observe the level of diversity present in the works presented.I look forward to see this festival grow and as it does it should raise the profile of photography amongst the Irish audience.

The Photographic industry in ireland has been in a state of flux and over the last few years I have really felt things shift dramatically.Just as in the Print and Publishing sectors in the Eighties the lines between photography,design,(web and print)and other areas of business have been blurred to a point that it was assumed that because the tools of photography where more accessible than ever,any creative type with access to these tools could multitask to provide a total solution for customers at a reduced cost.
I am glad to report that I see a shift in opinion as business and agencies realize the truth of this false economy is a fall of standards in output.
Just recently I met with a recent photography graduate who has, in a turn around, been employed full time by large Dublin based Auction house as their in-house photographer. These type actions are the seeds of change and I foresee several more positions emerging for graduates in the future.

For my own part I have only recently reconnected with my own desire to create personal work along with the desire to make a living from photography.This should not have been the case.Now I realise the importance of personal work as being central to my practise as a photographer and I would encourage all to keep on shooting and working on the great work started on their college course,in the longrun this kind of practise can only be good for your spirit and your career as it creates another facet to your person and indeed to your professional persona
I have to thank the economic slowdown in Ireland for affording me the time to spend working on my own projects . I must point out to all that time spent shooting work if equalled with time spent promoting this work via the internet will grow for you a profile beyond your first imaginings.
The secret of success in this area is to be diligent,frequent, positive in content and interesting.
Thanks to all on the night ,the graduates and Staff at Griffith

I hope this post reaches my intended audience of the night and beyond and clarifies the intentions of my strangled address.
please pass it on!!
thank you

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I have to say this project is bringing me closer to a lot of people.People I would never have met otherwise.
It has given me the opportunity to pause,chat,and to know and understand some of the complexities of modern life.
Also I have made an intimate study of certain parts of this city in an effort to come up with a fresh perspective and this has totally altered the way I feel about, and now look at,my own home town.

Saturday, 28 May 2011


When I started the process of shooting work for the Leaving Dublin project I expected at some point or another to meet a problem on the streets.But to date this has not been the case. In fact I would go so far as to say every one we met along the way were interested and supportive,the worst you could say of any one person is that they were unconcerned or indifferent.
This cycle I am afraid came to its end on a recent shoot where we met less than hospitable people.
Ironically it was the closest shoot to my own home I had ever planned in a part of town I thought to be inhabited by the nicest you could meet.
How wrong could you be!

But Hey this was Henrieta Street, and I fully understand that on several occasions the natives have been corralled into their homes by large film crews waving city council permits granting them permission to shoot footage for hours on end.

Our shoot would have taken 20 minutes after setting up,we where 4 people in a family saloon car with one flash head and a tripod.
How ever once the flash had tripped once two crazies approached us to enquire what we where doing.
I answered in a friendly manner,and was quickly told you can't do that here.(we where disturbing their sleep,at 9.45pm.and their street was private property)
From the tone of the conversation that followed I realized we were talking to a couple of mentally disturbed cranks who needed to get their way so we decided to leave rather than to trade insults(one of them had been rude to our sitter as she explained why we were working there)
In the meantime rain had started to fall so we retreated to my house for a cup of tea and a strategy meeting!!
Our Sitter on this occasion was Meghan mac Lachlan, A young woman who recently left Dublin for Seattle in the U.S.A.Meghans mother is Irish and she had done a lot of research into her family tree and had uncovered addresses occupied by family members in the past,2 on Henrieta street,one on Bolton street,one on Dominick street,and on the other side of town Crampton place and Dawson street.
She was anxious to shoot at one of these sites and I had tested a few of them out in the research phase.
However Rain was our real enemy on the night,had we not been disturbed it would have been all done before the rain started,but now we had a problem.
You see Meghan was leaving for Seatle early the next morning and her shot at this stage was looking doubtful.
She then had an idea, a place dear to her grandfather was close to the dropping well pub in Windy Arbour and it should be sheltered from the rain.
So of we went into the night blindly.
We arrived on set at 11.30 and the rain still coming down, Meghans hair was wet from the walk and she set about drying it while we set up.It was a slow process that night and I have to commend the patience and Ray, Artur and indeed Meghan,their commitment to the process always on full tilt.
We left the site glowing with a great sense of achievement at around 12.30 with another great shot from this series in the bag.
Thanks again to Artur Sikora,Ray Hegarty and Meghan for all their help and resolve on the night.
And a special thanks to the two dudes from Henrieta street who inspired us to new heights of creativity in finding a solution to the problem of finding shelter from the madness and the rain.
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Comments are always appreciated and answered,so please keep it up.
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thank you

a short post on printing

In the world of high end of digital printing Epson have ben pushing the standards for years.
Until the introduction of their pigment inksets some years ago it was hard to have work with this origin accepted by museums and collectors as archivally sound.Once this landmark was reached however all was changed
As time has passed the quality and longevity has surpassed most other commonly used processes including c-type prints, and Lambda prints.
When used in conjunction with fibre based acid free papers prints from this process are resistant to fading for up to a hundred years far surpassing the expected life of Lambda or c type prints.
How ever in a world where so many other manufacturers products have the same initial appearance it has become very important to have a system where standards are set achieved and recognised by bodies collecting ,distributing,and producing fine art prints.
Such a system has been developed by Epson,which sets standards for achieving museum quality prints,
In edition,produced by print studios who adhere to strict guidelines regarding materials and technique.
The Digigraphie System first launched by Epson in France some years ago has been recently launched in the rest of Europe,and I am delighted to announce today that I have been accepted as user of this system.
heres how it works!!

The use of the term Digigraphie relates exclusively to a print produced :

- by a 7900 or 9900 model Epson Stylus Pro professional printer,

- with Epson Ultra Chrome TM inks,

- on certified art papers from Epson, Somerset, Arches, Canson, Hahnemühle, etc,

- authenticated : numbered, signed by the artist, marked with the official relief stamp and accompanied by its certificate.

If one of these four obligations is not complied with, the printed work cannot, in any case, be qualified as Digigraphie. This obligatory qualification is the guarantee, for the artist as for his clients, of ensuring the fidelity and permanence of the reproduced work (estimated to be 60 to 100 years as per tests carried out by various independant institutes).


The Artist undertakes, in the context of the use of the Digigraphie label, to exclusively produce works in limited series. The concept of limited series is defined by three criteria freely determined by the Artist :

- the number of proofs reproduced,

- the format of the reproduction of the artwork,

- the support on which it is printed.

Pictured above is a stamp made by my personalised embossing tool baring my artists mark D.M.
See my earlier post re printing here

Friday, 13 May 2011


I suppose it was only a matter of time before we ended up smack in the centre of Dublin outside the G.P.O.
It happened last week on a thursday night and timing was critical as one of my subjects Ara Lopez was off to Mexico the next morning.Rain had cancelled the shoot the night before and I am indeed grateful to Ara and her Irish boyfriend  Daragh Mc Munn for agreeing to come to town a second night so close to a departure.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


When I started this project I was concerned that it would take some time,and indeed,it would take some numbers if I was to include all the many colours of people leaving our shores.Young ,old,male female,families,maried,single,friends,professionals,tradesmen,students,couples.
Now that I have over 40 shots in the series I can see the project being filled with people from all of these sections of our society.
If I can continue a little further I feel that the Leaving Dublin project will represent a true picture of all of the different groups who felt the need to leave these shores.
A real achievement awaits!!
A couple of weeks ago now I met with Tom,Nina,Isaac,Kael,and Sophia Scott  a family reluctantly making preparations to move to the U.K.(the 4th family to dates see 1 and 2 here 3 was the last post!)

Sunday, 1 May 2011


It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Seán Ó Dálaigh and his beautiful wife Leia Uí Dhálaigh a couple of weeks ago.

Leia was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and found it tiring to make arrangements to move to Rotterdam in The Netherlands. They where going there because Seán, a web designer, who had gone through redundancy three times in the last year, was offered a job in HR & logistics for an engineering company. With no immediate prospect of work here Seán had been volunteering at the Gallery of Photography, in Temple Bar, which is how we were introduced.

He was enjoying the experience when the offer of full time work came through. These are the lengths you must go to in order to provide for a family, making decisions quickly when faced with the stark reality of how you survive into the future. Within six days of the offer being made they were packed up and gone!!

Friday, 22 April 2011


This is Richard Orciuch He is the fourth Brazilian I have photographed in as many weeks.
My Interest in things Brazilian started a couple of months ago when I talked with a static guard at The National Photographic Archive.He was set to leave the country with his Girlfriend,bound for Italy, with a hope of getting residency there.I hoped to photograph them,but I never got the call!

Soon after I contacted Mariane Goldberg a friend in Sao paulo who lived here a year ago.She had some contacts still in Dublin whom she mailed and so began my work with these energetic,friendly,vibrant,hardworking,people who bring so much to our society and ask for so little in return.
Richard is 27 years old and is a teacher.In Ireland he has worked for the Metro newspaper and as a cleaner.
He used to hand out the metro paper here outside the old Moran's Hotel on the corner.For that reason he will never forget this part of Dublin.

Friday, 15 April 2011


About a week ago I paused for a while at st. Stephens Green with Antoiela Girassol as she preparred to depart Dublin for her native Santos,Sao paulo,Brazil.
She is heading home after a year here.She has had good times but will be delighted to get home to a warmer climate with family and friends near by!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


It was a beautiful spring night at the end of march. All was good as we prepared to enter April  for a second time in the life of the leaving dublin project.
The project is again gathering pace and I have once more made a compilation video to try and attract new participants to join us in  this historical  documentation process.See it here and please share it with anyone you feel may be interested in this project and indeed with those who you know are on the move!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

welcome europe photobloggers

Yesterday I received confirmation the my posts will be added to the listings of europe photobloggers
So I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all Europe photoblogger subscribers to my blogpage.
I would encourage all visitors to freely comment and share the posts with all interested parties.
Above is the last image I posted,(for the full post just click the title or click here), and a video compilation of work shot to date for my project on Irish Emigration"leaving Dublin"
The video runs for 4 minutes and contains the first 35 images all images are posted already and available here in chronological order and without text on my viewbook page here

thank you david

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Poolbeg and the walk to the lightouse on the southwall of dublin port is a very special place.
I have been there 3 times in the last two weeks and each time the experience was something completely different!
The first visit was a solo one. I went to find some suitable locations for the shot above.There was no one around ,there was just me and the sea,some boats ad the odd aircraft on the standard approach to dublin airport thats so obvious from several locations along the coast.The moon was full and had a huge penumbra which lit me up inside.

Friday, 25 March 2011


Worldwide a lot has happened since my last post.
I was delighted to hear that my good friend Keiko Furamoto and her family were all safe and well after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami. A total disaster which will have far reaching effect on a lot of people for many years. In Libya the United Nations have declared a no fly zone which should lead to the end of the Gadafi regime, although this could get worse before it ever gets better!! Closer to home things seem to be hotting up in Europe again!

Well we are only a few weeks into the life of the new Dail here in Ireland and I have to say I am an aweful less irritated by the new crew than I was by the old crew. I am delighted to see that so many have either retired in fear of rejection, or have just been rejected. The batty days of the two Brians and a whole bunch of Mary's are well behind us no doubt. But, it remains to be seen if our new crew can unravel the  tangled web woven by the two Brian's on their retreat. Europe should take its share of the blame for our sad situation but I don't think thats going to happen easily!
Still thought things are pretty tough and I can see all the uncertainty continuing for some time. Yesterday as some predicted Portugal joined the party and now we only await the failure of Spain to send the European project into meltdown. I wonder can they pull it off and get it all back on the rails. Well thats one world stage now on to another.
For me the "Leaving Dublin" project is an inspiration. Every time I go to shoot I meet people who are meeting the challenges of life head on and getting on with it, no messing around just taking the bull by the horns and going for it!!
This week was no exception, I met with Raissa Oliveira Do Prado, a Brazilian who has been living in Ireland for almost a year. Raissa who is a marketing specialist came to Ireland to learn English and to de-stress herself. Her hope was that time spent in Ireland would refresh, de-stress and prepare her for meeting new challenges back in Brazil. I suppose for her it was interesting to be in a country in flux during her stay. Chatting with her on the night it was clear that she loved her time here, the people, the places and the slower pace of life. Considering that she comes from a city of 11 million inhabitants the pace of life in Dublin must have been relatively crawling when compared to Sao Paulo. She has left now and no doubt has enjoyed a reunion with her family before setting out on the next chapter of her life, a new job with the addition of english, a little older and a whole lot wiser after her year out!!
Raissa chose the Pheonix Park, she lived just across the river in the Coombe and the parks of Dublin were pretty special to her especially this one and St Stephens Green.
On the stage that night she performed beautifully and after, enjoyed the peace and quite of that moonlit night in the city centre park. The bandstand is located in the hollow beside the Zoo.
Sadly it looks like it has been some time since it has seen a performance and the beautiful white seats wait patiently for  noise, merriment and mischief (perhaps even some music) to once more populate the stage.
As always Artur Sikora and Hugh Mc Cabe hoofed the light around the location with ease. No rain this night so no complaints.
Big thanks to Mariane Goldberg in Sao Paulo for putting me in touch with Riassa

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Thursday, 17 March 2011


There is a lot to be said for having a positive mental outlook, and no doubt about that!
Time after time I have met people, who when faced with adversity have triumphed because of their wish to have a life fulfilling. On this shoot I met a very positive young man who was about to leave for Sydney Australia. Conor Savage is an online manager for an Irish bookies,  Paddy Power.
They have recently acquired an Australian arm and need to lever Conor's expertise to make it happen efficiently on line. So without having to look for employment on arrival, without having to reskill, without having to sit grueling interviews, or work bars, or fruit pick until the right job comes along, Conor is out of here!! EASY!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


There is no doubt about it.One of the largest groups Leaving Dublin are young graduates.
On the eve of our general election last week I met with Michelle Ellis and Claire Mc Dermott.
Michelle(left in our image) is a graduate of commerce and has recently been awarded a masters degree.
Even with this postgrad qualification she remains unemployed and as she put it, in an effort to remain positive about her future,she is leaving for Vancouver Canada.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Niall Judge and Roisín O'Connor are off. They have had enough. Life in Dublin has become very tough. No real prospects in the financial services sector and shrinking wages and a deteriorating health service, make for an untenable position for Niall and Roisín respectfully.
Like so many they are looking out into the world to find a place where their skill sets are needed and valued beyond the subsistence wage they can achieve here. That coupled with a better lifestyle should leave them both feeling a lot better about themselves and gives them a common stage on which to play out life in a more meaningful way.
So Niall and Roisín are off to Singapore a centre of world trade and one of the real asian "Tiger"economies.

When Niall suggested to me that the Pheonix Park would be a good spot he mentioned the Papal Cross as something that would remind him of happy times spent walking and training in the large flat green space that played host to a papal visit way back in 1979.
About ten years ago I made some polaroid stereo pairs using a linhof 4x5 camera and some instant colour print film. One of these images has stayed in my mind and it featured the cross in sharp focus away in the distance framed between two trees and shining forth white against a blue sky. I quickly set about incorporating this version of the cross into my composition for Niall and Roisín's portrait as I thought they might be impressed. When I sent my proposal to the couple this is the one they chose as being the place they would like to shoot. Needless to say I was delighted.
On the night it was raining a little and it proved to be a difficult shoot as working in the dark without the aid of public street lighting made things quite tricky. But with a good crew all is possible.
Artur Brian and Hugh all came together to transform a tricky situation into a joyous outcome.
Even a trip by car to illuminate the cross was no problem as we synced by phone across the parks black void.
Niall and Roisín should be happy that there passage between on ex celtic tiger to the real thing has been marked by the creation of this dramatic parting shot. In fact for me it feels like we buried the beast in the Pheonix park that night!!
Big thanks to Niall and Roisín for keeping it together on such a miserable night.
And also huge thanks to Brian, Hugh and Artur, the right guys in the right place at the right time!!
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Sunday, 27 February 2011


I am sitting to write this entry tonight after the count on election 2011 has given us an indication of how things are going to be in the next Dail.

The ruling Fianna Fáil party have suffered huge losses after two and a half years of blatantly ignoring the people and arrogantly making decisions that could only be justified by their wish to remain in power until the corner was turned. Right now it would appear that the corner is further away than it ever was and whoever forms the next government has a long struggle to get us anywhere near to that corner before the next election.

One person who could not wait around for the election or the turning of that corner is Darren Crook.
I met with Darren and his father Terry on Howth Harbour County Dublin. For me it is a very special place and once more my past overlapped with the wishes of my subjects to locate their shot at a location special to them. Knowing the area I knew exactly where Darren was talking about when he mentioned fishing with his father and I was excited that he might like to set things up on the huge curved terraced wall at the end of the pier.

Talking with his farther Terry it was very obvious that he was very sad to see his son, the second in a week , leave and go to Australia. I suppose that life is going to be a lot different for Terry and what remains of his family and they will dearly miss Darren and his brother Brian. However there is another side to this process and Darren was in contact with me after his departure to fill me in. Its obvious from his words that he is filled with hope for the future and a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders, in Dublin he was a mechanic, in Australia he has started his working life picking fruit and has this to say.

"Me and my da used to fish Howth lots during the summer months, not as often as we used to in the last couple of years, we started doing more further afield, but we'd always get a least one session in Howth in the year. Definitely see myself fishing out in Howth again, don't ever see myself living in Ireland again especially after getting a taste for the lifestlye over here, but can't see myself going home to see my dad without throwing in the lines."

Thanks Darren hope it always sunny for you in Oz, and if Noreen Bowden and the good people at Global Irish have anything to do with it you might have a vote in the next general election without having to come home!!
Well done Mick Wallace and all the Independent voices who made it through the election process.
In another plus for this project the Belgian newspaper De Standaard Published 5 of this series today in their weekend magazine. I will put it up when I get a pdf next week!!
Or you can find a screen grab on my fb page

Hugh, Artur and Gemma where with me on this one and all work was completed with their usual efficiency. Big thanks as always to them.
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Friday, 25 February 2011


We wake up this morning to the possibility of change. That in itself is an enriching experience!
For too long I and others listened to the arrogant ones talk pure horse shite and at all times there was never anything we could do but suffer their over inflated egos and their empty words and hold firm until this day came.
When I go to the poll today it will be as a reactionary. I will not be voting for the person or persons I wish to see govern this country.(quite frankly we are stuffed for a few years yet)
I will be voting to remove the current regime(and its likes) full stop.
Hopefully over the next few years the events that conspired to mess up Irish life will be unpicked
and we can move forward unchained.
These feelings are shared by our latest sitters Linda dePaor and Philip Duggan
as they leave this country for pastures new with their young son Luca.

They are disillusioned about the way this place has been run and Linda (a solicitor),and Philip( a librarian)
see no great career prospects for themselves in the current climate. However they do have hopes of returning some time in the future to find all changed with prosperity and effective government in place.
Once again I applaud the actions of people like Linda and Philip as they move on into the unknown
with nothing but their ambition for a better life for themselves and Luca.
We shot this image just two nights ago in the dolly mount end of St Annes park A place dear to this family and only ten minutes from their now previous home.The exotic trees and strange root structures form a very powerful backdrop for this historic parting shot,and I thank the Guiness family for the fantastic planting that was their back garden back in the day!!
The set was very close to the road but it was very tricky as someone had driven a tractor through our exact tripod location that day.What a mess!!
We were joined on the shoot by Eve Irvine and Valerie Labonne from France 24 a French T.V.channel.
The shoot will form part of a report to be aired next Monday night as a report on Ireland around the time of its election, another very exciting turn for the Leaving Dublin Project.
Hopefully this picture will also feature in a printed piece in a Belgian newspaper De Standaart (next Saturday) again to focus on the election story.
I really wish Philip, Linda and Luca the very best in their new home Australia and I hope the time they spend there is full of good experiences.
And indeed I hope our own little election story has a happy ending ,or at least a twist that was not predicted by those pollster types!!

Artur, Hugh and Mel were on hand once more to throw a light on this very dark place, so big thanks there.
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big thanks to all

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


There is no doubt in my mind that there are several levels of need within our society at present.
But more and more I am coming across people who's need to subside far outweigh's their need to reside (here). This for me is very sad! but, I suppose we must take heart in the strength of the people leaving these shores, as they take with them a desire to succeed which will carry them through onto new levels of achievement.
Last week I met with Graham Ford, after much internet banter about locating his shot we finally agreed that, if open on the night Belgrave square Rathmines would be the place to shoot. Happily the gate I had used previously was still unlocked so we were in.

Here is what Graham had to say
" I worked in Dublin as a mortgage administrator, then as a legal assistant before finally being asked to work as assistant accountant, all at sub prime mortgage company in Clonskeagh. Every weekend my girlfriend and I would travel west to work the family farm, and get back to Ranelagh late on the Sunday night, before returning to work on Monday morning. Following the passing of my girlfriend's father, I was able to take voluntary redundancy and we moved to the west, where we ran the family farm for 2 years. With no pay however it was imperative that one of us found a job. My partner found work in Galway, but I had to look too, but there was nothing in the west. So I applied for a job in the UK, and got the position in horse racing, so I am moving from Ireland.
We are due to be married at the end of May this year, so it was a rush to finish all the organisation prior to the move as I'm unlikely to get back to Ireland now until the wedding.
It's a great shame to have to leave Ireland, especially when we should be living together and planning the future, but I have to go where the work is. It will put a huge strain on our relationship, but there is absolutely no chance of a decent job in Ireland at the moment.
The park in the picture is literally just across the road from where we lived in Charleston Road, and we would come over with chairs and food, to read or doze in the summer days and evenings after work. It's a special place to me and reminds me of a very happy time in my life.."
Artur and Mel were on hand to shunt us over the fence if needed,  but they settled on lighting this one up with their usual efficiency!
Big thanks to Graham who by now has taken up his post as Clerk of the scales with the British Racing Industry. Another job title to add to his already colourful career which includes Train Driver, Mortgage Administrator, Legal Assistant and Farmer.
Two days to the election here. Lets vote for change and try to resist being corralled by the pollsters!
Its time we all had a change! not just Graham!!

Today had a chat with FRANCE 24, for a piece on irish emigration from an election perspective airs next Monday.It was great to meet Eve Irvine (correspodent) and Valerie Labonne( producer/camera)

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Before I start this post I must take the chance to wish Dar Crook the very best in Australia and I hope its all going well for him there. Due to a slight tricky edit I've decided to finish his parting shot off when I am feeling a little more in control (maybe by the week-end).
So it would appear to me that The Bernard Shaw is a very special place in Dublin, so far I have photographed 3 of my shots in and around its location in Portabello in the heart of the Village quarter.
I photographed a very excited Gráinne O'Sullivan in the alley beside the pub. This laneway runs right around the pub and is filled with an ever changing feast of street art.

The reason for Gráinne's excitement was that the following day she was away to London for a new life.
She was inside in the Bernard Shaw having farewell drinks with some friends while myself Artur, Brian and Mel got set up outside.
Grainne got in touch with me after she had seen a piece on RTE news about the project.
She has been out of the country a couple of times and of late has been finding it hard to get work in her field. She is a very special person and took on the establishment when she co-produced the site count me out.ie with Cormac Flynn & Paul Dunbar, a guide to help people opt out of the Catholic Church, which was recently covered in the NewYorkTimes. So now she is off to London and appart from friends and family, I dont think she is going to miss Dublin life too much.
We have a lot of hard times ahead here and if she ever needs reminding of this its only a short one hours flight time away!!
Things are pretty awful approaching our elections as the media try very hard to push voters into one camp or another. My hopes for our election is that there is an overwhelming rejection of the establishment and the Irish voters push a lot of independent voices into the Dail (Parliament). Then, we can prove that we count and are pissed off with how we have been misrepresented, and we did not then, and don't now accept the lines we were and are now still being fed day after day after day.
Dutch T.V. just pushed out this piece and guess what it focuses on - the single biggest issue. Emigration.
Lets make our politicians pay at the ballot box for this and lets hope we can slow it down!!
Big thanks as always to Artur, Brian and Mel who lit up the art in style.
And indeed to Saskia and Peter for giving us a voice in Europe.
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Thursday, 10 February 2011


Well it's been a busy week or two.
Ever since the CBS network in the USA covered the work of the Lilliputian myself, Artur, Brian, Hugh, Gemma and Mel have been busy shooting one thing or another for the last five days.
All the organisation has been tricky with ten times the amount of emails to answer and send compared to normal times.
Its all been very exciting, a little tiring but the feeling I am getting is one of realisation that the "Leaving Dublin" project is starting to reach its objective of being representational of all of the various groups of people fleeing our shores this time around.
After local coverage on The National News, emails lined up a number of people from different age groups, professions and some family groups, so excitment is high for the nights ahead.
On Sunday last we braved the rains to go to Blackrock , Co Dublin, to meet Sarah Cowhey.

Sarah lived nearby for several years before leaving Ireland for New Zealand four years ago.
There Sarah completed studies in wildlife documentary making and has worked since on the production side of things.
Against advice she returned to Dublin five months ago and had no luck securing a job and she feels in the current climate her expertise is surplus to requirements. She returned to her familial home town of Limerick and spent some time with her family. Whilst there she had a Christmas seasonal job in the local Dunnes Stores, but no other employment.
So, she has made the decision to leave and return to New Zealand and seek work once more in her area of expertise. May we all join in wishing Sarah the best for her next spell away from home!
Luckily just before Sarah arrived on location the rain died away to a little trickle ensuring that our gear could cope without exploding!!
Big thanks to Artur and Hugh who's spirits never dampened on that very wet evening.
And also a big welcome to Eve Irvine from France 24 TV station who may be joining us on a shoot next week!!
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Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Its clear at this point that momentum is gathering around the Leaving Dublin project.
Over the last two weeks there has been a lot of publicity,heightened by a CBS news story and several online news stories and print media stories.
here are a list of some of these pieces
broad sheet.ie had a piece called The Exodus
the journal.ie had a piece highlighting the CBS piece
And diaspora.ie also had its own take on this project with a link to a youtube piece from my last post
photographers.ie also had a short piece about the CBS story
Later in the week I had a call from a Sunday Tribune photographer and talked to a very nice journalist John Downes he interviewed me and did a very good piece last Sunday.
Next Up is the Six One news(its here now 18.25 into the bulletin) with big thanks to their video journalist Philip Bromwell
and a few seconds in a piece by Saskia Dekkers re the new wave of Irish emigration on Dutch public television.
Considering this work is still in progress, and therefor has no P.R. machine behind it, one can only be amazed at the level of media coverage to date.
There is no doubt that the subject matter is very current, but even still I was aghast to be half way up a mountain on a shoot with two national T.V. cameras pointing at me.
Also we were ten people, a little more than usual for a shoot that usually needs about five.
Our sitter this time was the very patient and graceful Claire Ryan.we met at the foot of the hills at the Yellow house in Rathfarnham she was there with a friend Arni Haraldsson who joined us as we drove in convoy up Stocking lane towards the car park in Killakee.

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Hello world!!Its a fantastic day for the Lilliputian just over a year after its inception the blog has caused a stir in the small world
From coast to coast in the U.S.A. and all over Europe a piece was broadcast by CBS.news which uses my photographic documentation as a vehicle to describe the latest wave of Irish emigration.
I am so delighted and stuck for words at this moment that I had to let it out.
you can see the piece here
I would again like to say Big thanks to all who helped push this along ,Ben,Agnes, and Liz at CBS London. It was a pleasure!
I hope during the work done so far I have paid,and will continue to pay tribute to the people of this city, and indeed to the city they have chosen,or indeed in some cases, have been forced to leave behind!!
Big thanks also to the crew,Artur,Brian,Gemma,Hugh,James,Louise,Don.
who have always been at the end of the phone to throw light over a sometimes very dark and cold city
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Sunday, 16 January 2011


On Assignment this week I was asked to make a photograph for an Irish Arts publication
The proposal was to go to Cast Bronze Foundry and Photograph the artist and foundry man
Leo Higgins pouring Bronze.

So heres how it went. I met Mel O Reilly down at the foundry at half ten friday morning.
We went in and met Leo who gave us a demo as he poured a small bronze with one of his skilled team Henry.
The pouring of metal in this way is such a ritual and has been done for thousands of years
I felt humbled to do work in front of two men who performed flawlessly time after time to carry out the poetic movements which ultimately give birth to a work of art.
We then had an hour to get set up while the next crucible of hot metal became molten.
We settled on an exposure of 1/8th of a second @f4(wide open)
Needless to say our biggest problem was focus in such low light but we held it across the critical part of the shot.It took two takes with some more melting of metals in between but we left satisfied that we had all that we needed in the bag.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


The Pheonix Park in Dublin is a pretty big place and no doubt about that.
Having said that I managed to find a place which meant something to our latest sitter Neasa O'Shea Brady
A place where she and her family have often walked and played in the many years they have been living near the park.
The Furry Glen is a little ecosystem within the park a small treelined valley with a pond and all the associated flora and fauna that goes with it. It is indeed a beautiful place and we found ourselves on the edge of it amongst trees Which according to an inscribed memorial stone were planted in 1878. Beeches and scotts pine formed our backround all which have become heavily inscribed over the years be lovers of life and grifitti.I wondered had Neasa an artist about to take flight for New York, ever made her mark .But, I was afraid to ask.Anyhow when that crossed my mind I had I had other things on my mind.

It was pitch dark and very difficult to set up the shot using only a couple of flashlights.But thanks to Artur,hugh and Mel O' Reilly(a new member of our troupe), and a lot of moving around by Neasa we got there eventually.
Neasa and four other friends are off to New york and mostly for the same reasons there is no work for them here in their chosen fields.I have photographed two of the group already Aoife O Donnell and Fiona O Keefe and all of them are off to New york and hope to get internships in the Arts.
They are a very motivated group and I wish them the best and I hope they get all they deserve in their new home,New York.
Things come and things go that's for sure, our country is in a state of disarray It looks like the two Brians, Batty,and the whole bunch of Mary's might be moving sooner than they think.
But one thing is sure that when the dust settles on this troubled era the Furry Glen will be as beautiful a place as it has always been,and the joy of the stroll through the woods is something I hope Neasa and her friends will see again,soon.

This is the last post from my current shooting list current and so I am appealling for new leavers once more
if you know of anybody about to emigrate from Dublin please send them this way.
there is a little video piece on youtube that will get the message across also my viewbook page
has all of the work without the text.
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Irish identity as seen from a different perspctive is an interesting thing.
I wait with baited breath to see how C.B.S.portray the people I have shot and how that all relates to America and how it sees us in their world.
Two months ago my brother Ken sent me an email link to a very interesting B.B.C. article which he said related to my project!
Now it really does!
Let me explain the article was about the new wave of irish immigration into the U.K. and it was a very good, deep and reasonably historically accurate. It points out the differences of previous Irish waves and draws the conclusion that this wave will be the most rewarded(because of a change in sentiment towards the Irish).It talked to a couple of new Immigrants.
one of these was a person called Claire Weir.
Claire has been around the world since leaving Dublin last year,she spent some time in Australia where she saw my project and corresponded with me via email. Thinking she was still there you can imagine my surprise to see her name in the B.B.C. article.Later that month she mailed me to say she was home for christmas and she would like to be part of my project.See the interesting article here
She chose her old neighborhood of Portabello for the shot and we where both drawn to the clean and heavily loaded graphic by her old local pub.
I have followed Claires progress over the last year I can say she is a hard working Irish photographer looking to do what she does best and the opportunity to do this in ireland is not forthcoming.
So it was with great pleasure that Claire and I closed the circle last week when we at last met to take this glorious parting shot as she prepared return to London to take up a job doing stills for a t.v. production.
It is an interesting point of B.B.C. article that the Irish in this new wave carry themselves well ,and Claire is indeed one of these.
Artur Sikora and Hugh Mc Cabe dodged the traffic to light up the neighborhood and we got it all finished before the rain came down.
Remember to read the the article over at the B.BC.page,It makes me feel good to be documenting history as its being written, and to leave my mark in the records,no shame ,no regret!!!

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Thursday, 6 January 2011


Christmas in Dublin this year was great!!and horray it was a white one!!
probably the only white christmas I have ever seen(at least as I remember)
After the november snows when everything really ground to a halt the Christmas fall was perfectly timed for those living in Dublin.(added several shots to my
tree portraits at this time due to magical winter light after snow)
the Snow actually gave us the means to slow down to the holiday.
Afterwards it all melted away beautifully by the 27 and that left the roads clear (and the temperature amiable) to make another glorious parting shot.
This time our Hero was Brendan Rowan.
A recent Science graduate of
Trinity College Dublin Brendan moved to Cardiff in Wales to do a P.H.D.in his chosen field.
here is what he had to say" I wasnt forced to leave Ireland ,but the funding for P.H.D.'S isn't there any more meaning there is larger compettion for places.

In the U.K. we are more highly valued and find it easier to get studentships.
As well, it's a chance to live in a new country and get away from the vortex of gloom that is currently overtaking Ireland.
The shot happened on december 28th at about 10 at night at Seapoint just down the road from Monkstown
The temperature had risen to 4 degrees making it a very comfortable shoot after the three previous sub zero sessions.
Artur Sikora accompanied me and looked after all lighting needs for the night.
Big thanks to Brendan,and to Jeannie Wenham for putting him in touch with me.
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