An rud is annamh is iontach
Every time I leave Ireland, venturing off to another country for a year or two, I always return with a deeper appreciation for my homeland. To the rest of the world (beyond the realms of pints of Guinness and leprechauns), Ireland is a country wrapped in the mystic, it’s home to the artist, the poet, the writer, the musician and has a very unique lure to the outside world for this reason. The nickname, ‘the emerald isle’, really struck a chord with me in more recent years where I found myself excited to see the effervescent neon green mossy carpets on the trees and grounds of Brackloon woods in county Mayo, slowing down and witnessing the fresh green colours along the hillsides or roadside bushes. For many people who have had a calling to Ireland, it’s for the experience with the ancient, this timeless connection to the environment especially in the West of Ireland where some of the landscape has quite literally been untouched since the Ice Age. Painters flock to the west to capture the light of the sun over the Atlantic Ocean and it truly is a sight to behold; day after day, never the same yet always strikingly beautiful.
I met a Brazilian women at a digital tech festival in Berlin in 2018, she had lived in Ireland for a couple of years and fallen for the charms of one of our Irish men ( they are funny, I will give them that). She said, ‘The thing about the Irish is that they are the Latin of Northern Europe, their hearts are so warm’. Naturally, I was very happy to adopt this mantra, who doesn’t want to be referred to as Latin in their hearts after-all? There is complete truth in it. While living abroad, I have recognized that Irish people are far more approachable and ready to have a conversation with just about anyone, from their next-door neighbour to the person standing behind them in the queue. This kind of friendliness has given me a superpower while living abroad because people are so reciprocal to the Irish nature. The people I have photographed below were strangers one moment and after a chit chat of all thing bright and beautiful they welcomed me into their space.
I have a deep affection for this land, it’s healing to just get out into the elements and take a deep breath of fresh while roaming the coastlines or out in the fields and forests. Often you could be the only one on the beach, sadly our weather doesn’t hold up to the sunshine in California but our best kept secret is that, when the weather does shine here, it is the most beautiful place in the world.