Ireland


Ireland in 2005 was in the midst of the Celtic Tiger heydays. Business was booming and foreigners of all shapes and sizes were welcome. Well, sometimes. The growth rate meant that much of the Dublin economy was underwritten by property. Coming from a really opulent South African lifestyle, I lived in a tiny flat in Rathmines and had to endure the endless stream of drunks returning from the City Centre each evening. Whilst the people at the office were affable, the lack of sleep and inability to make headway in my job really took its toll.

There were some highlights though. Dublin is very picturesque, and photography helped to keep me balanced.



The Liffey: Dublin's name derives from Viking (Norse), and water still plays a part in the daily life of the City. The Liffey runs through the city centre, and has a big impact on traffic and the prices of property.
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The Liffey at night: In addition to being picturesque, Dublin centre is relatively safe at night.
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Ha'penny Bridge: Once apon a time a toll, this footbridge crosses the Liffey close to the tourist drinking hole of Temple Bar.
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Grand Canal swan: Feisty critters, the swans patrol Grand Canal that flowed a hundred meters from my flat.
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St Patrick's Close: My new found interest in night-time photography was helped by the digital camera - film photography at night requires a lot of trial-and-error.
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Howth Harbour: Almost a quaint seaside town, Howth clings to a rocky peninsular overlooking the beaches of Dublin. The fishing here has dwindled due to European Union quotas, but the ambiance is still there. And the DART, the train that runs from Dubmlin to Howth and to Bray in the south, is very scenic.
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Sailing boats off Dun Loaghaire: Pronounced 'dun leery', this seaside suburb of Dublin has a harbour, marina and the Holyhead ferry terminus. There were a dozen of these small yatchs off shore that day, and the Howth lighthouse can be seen in the background.
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Glistening: A long walk one Saturday morning took me to Sandymount and Ringsend. Not the most common landscape lens, but the 180mm tele captured the play of light on the beaches (actually tidal flats).
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Sir Henry writing his memoirs: I stayed with Henry and Shirley on my first trip to Ireland. Henry has had an interesting life, and owns the Little Saltee island that I visited.
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Saltee Islands: A couple of kilometers off the coast of Kilmore Quay, the island is owned by Henry's family trust.
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Avoca village: Famous for being in a television series (that I don't recall seeing in South Africa), Avoca is a tiny village in a beautiful valley near Dublin. Very quaint, but it can get very busy with coachloads of tourists.
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