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.

Once a thriving business Esmonde Motors closed its doors in 2009, the site almost sold at a handsome profit just about the time of the economic collapse of the building industry. Now the people of Stillorgan instead of having a gleaming new empty or half finished  development  to look at (ghost estates as they have come to be called)  they have this decaying shed, protected from encroaching traffic and unwanted vandals by a piece of decaying rope. Between 1998 and 2004 this was the place where Gareth Doolan came to ply his trade as a car salesman. After working here he moved to another dealership but has not worked in this area since 2009. He felt this would be a good place to site a photograph of him and his family, his partner Natasha Lynch and their daughter Macy. For Gareth the dead garage symbolises all that has gone wrong with our society, and indeed it stands testament to the malaise we find ourselves in, and with austerity being heaped upun austerity this place should remain like this for a long time to come.
On the night it emmerged that Gareth and family, who are moving to Spain are not travelling until well into the new year. This amazed me to think that someone with their back up against the wall had still found room  to plan and prepare, give themselves time to get everything in place, before making a move that would  seperate them from family and friends for probably a very long time. Gareth too put a lot of work into retraining himself, spending 3 years at Griffith College on the photography program there. I could only assume that in his youth Gareth was a member of the boy scouts and took to heart their slogan "Bí Ullamh" (be prepared) he must be the best prepared of all the people I have photographed to date and I wish him and his family every success in Spain when they do eventually get on their way!
On the night Artur Sikora and Chris Connolly shon the light. Coincidentally Chris sat with my own Niamh for the very first shot, the advertisement, as it were for this series. This shot follows the same compositional conventios as the first. In this case we see a man wanting to be in two places at once but opting to go where he knows he can help to provide for his young child together with his partner.
It should form a good counterpoint for the similar composition from the series of David Flood and family
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  1. Dave , its one of the best
    i think. well done!

  2. ah thanks anon.theres another good one in the bag,watch this space!!

  3. Lovely shot David. Beautifully lit & slightly sinister. Captures every emotion attached to the sad realisation & acceptance of this family & their situation.

  4. thanks Rosa its a triumph when a photograph talks so!!

  5. Hey Dave,
    Its been awhile now since the first shots ware made of this work, well done I think it is very important work and you are on top of it, look forward to seeing as much as you can do.
    Donal sheehan ( big fan)

  6. hey thanks Donal its nice to hear your voice here,glad you like it!