Sunday 20th August

Sheila O’Driscoll – Castletownbere, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Sheila O’Driscoll – Castletownbere, West Cork.

 

One of my favourite memories is of the first RNLI lifeboat coming into Castletownbere. It took a lot of work for it to happen and it was a very emotional time as my daughter who had helped enormously to make it happen was dying of cancer, she survived until the following March.

 

In time my son became the Cox of the lifeboat and at one time I had 3 grandchildren on the crew. The whole family has had a great connection with the RNLI. My husband had been a Cox in Baltimore before we came to live in Castletownbere and my brother in law was honorary secretary of the first lifeboat’.

 

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Friday 18th August

Caroline O’Donnell – Ballydehob, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Caroline O’Donnell – Ballydehob, West Cork.

 

My grandmother once told me that as long as I have music and laughter in my life I would never grow old. I think about her every day and try not to grow old.

She also said never marry a man you haven’t seen drunk… I’m still thinking about that advice.’

 

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Wednesday 16th August

People of Ballydehob Exhibition –

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People of Ballydehob Photography Exhibition on the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

I would like to thank all the wonderful people of Ballydehob for their incredible help, warmth and kindness during my time in the village, especially Joe O’Leary from Levis’ Bar and Colm Rooney who made it all happen, they organised the people taking part in the photo’s shoots, supplied a venue and helped mount the photographs all around the village, nothing was a problem to them.

 

Ballydehob is a remarkable place, a multicultural melting pot of creative activity and is home to artists, poets, writers, musicans, sculptors and craftworkers. The local community encourages people to persue and develop their creative and artistic talents. As I was taking the photographs and talking to people I discovered that most people were multi talented, it isn’t just good enough to be good at one thing in Ballydehob, for example, take Dolcie who is the pastry chef in Budds Restaurant, she is also an amazingly gifted fiddle player and decorative plasterer.

With the influx of artistic people in the 70’s, Ballydehob became known as the ‘San Francisco of the Mizen’. Ballydehob is an insprition to all and is a template for how a multicultural community can live in harmony, with sympathy and compassion for each others needs.

 

The photo above is of Michael John Watkins who took part in the exhibition.

He sits outside Budds Restaurant every morning and has the coolest collection of hats in West Cork.

The photographs are now all around the village in shop windows, on walls and the gable end of buildings. The official opening will be in a couple of weeks.

 

Michael John Watkins – Ballydehob, West Cork.

 

I have sunshine in my heart and I never, ever, ever get upset about anything. I’m happy every single day and everybody else should be the same, and we should all hug each other and talk to each other. This I have learnt from a lifetime of experience’.

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Sunday 13th August

John Joe Bowen – Sheeps Head, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

John Joe Bowen – Blacksmith, Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork.

 

Nature enhances my work, by observing simple patterns in a leaf, a flower or the structure of a tree gives me inspiration. If I try to interpret the world, as if through the unspoilt imagination of a child, tapping into their understanding of their surroundings, this can have a powerful influence on the creative process.

Blacksmithing has taken me on a journey of discovery, I never know what the future holds for me and this is exciting. I have countless pieces all around me that are works in progress. some could take years to finish and end up completely different than first planned. I work one on one with the fire, its like another person. The life of the fire dictates the pace of the work, you can’t rush it, you have to be patient.

In the future I would like to explore other mediums, such as the interaction of stone and metal and do collaborative work with the stone carver Victor Daly and the artist Sadhbh O’Brien.’

 

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Saturday 12th August

Sean O’Sullivan ‘Bawn’ – Castletownbere, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Sean O’Sullivan ‘Bawn’ – Castletownbere, West Cork.

 

‘My perfect day is coming back into the harbour after 3 or 4 days fishing, with a hold full of fish. Its a good feeling, you know that you can relax, you have a wage made for yourself and the crew, you can have a couple of well earned pints before going back at it again.

 

We fish 40 to 50 miles off the coast for monk and megs ( flat fish like plaice – the white sole of the sea). We fish according to the seasons. Towards the end of May we start fishing for turbot until the end of July, after that we go back trawing for monk, megs, sole and prawns.

 

I like the freedom of fishing and being my own boss, we do 2 trips a week because we are a small boat. coming home safe and knowing that myself and the crew have a couple of pounds at the end of the week is all I ask for.

I’m also a volunteer RNLI crew member and that plays a big part in my life. It a a peace of mind having the RNLI boat in the harbour’.

 

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Sunday 6th August

Cormac Whooley, Sheep’s Head, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Cormac Whooley – Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork.

 

I grew up in Ahakista and I run the family pub, known locally as The Tin Pub, its seasonal, so its open for about 6/9 months of the year. I travel abroad for the other couple of months. I’ve travelled to the four corners of the world but its great to come home. The scenery draws me back. I love getting out onto the hills and mountains, there are tracks and pathways all across the peninsula. One of my favourite walks, The Baran Loop, starts close to my house. These are sacred places high up on the barren outcrops, the peacefulness and tranquillity stills the mind. The views are spectacular, looking out across the lowlands, softened by the patchwork of fields to the waters edge and the glistening ocean beyond, with Mizen Head, Dunmanus Bay to the South, Bantry Bay and Beara to the North, Sheeps Head Lighthouse to the West and the worlds end beyond.’

 

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Saturday 5th August

Brian O’Driscoll, Castletownbere, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Brian O’Driscoll – Castletownbere, West Cork.

 

Good people inspire me, putting their own lives on hold to help others and prevent lives being lost. My fellow RNLI crew members selflessness never ceases to amaze me. They come from all walks of life, such as farmers, teachers, shopkeepers, fishermen, painters and carpenters, but when the call goes out they drop everything. These ordinary people do extraordinary work, with no desire for publicity, they are true heroes.’

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Friday 4th August

Mary O’Brien – Sheeps Head, West Cork.

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Mary O’Brien – Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork.

 

My perfect day is spent working in my garden, listening to the bird song and nature all around me. It gladdens my heart, once the first crocus puts its head above the ground. Spring brings life again, hyacinths and daffodils follow. From my childhood days I have loved the garden, I have grown through the years with it.

The return of the house martins, swallows and the cuckoo bring the summer and the garden bursts into life with wild flowers, gladiolus, daisy’s, petunias and sweet peas all in bloom.

 

Each season brings a different experience, similar to the cycle of life. Come autumn everything dies back, teaching us how to let go. Winter is a time to be still, a time for reflection, to explore and understand our inner self. Garding enhances my mental well being . My wish if I thought I was dying, is to die in my garden with the sound of the sea in the distance.’

 

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Tuesday 1st August

Toni McDermott – Leap, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

 

Toni McDermott – Leap, West Cork.

 

Get up and do your thing’.

 

I’m very sad to say that Toni recently passed away. I only got the opportunity to meet her the one time during the photo shoot in Connolly’s Pub, even so, she made a lasting impression. I have met so many people from Leap who have spoke of her with such warmth and affection. Last Saturday I met her daughter Ellen and she was recounting some lovely stories of her mother when she was younger and of trips back to Germany, where she was originally from. Ellen informed me that Toni had chosen the following line for her epitaph – ‘Its all been very interesting’. She was a remarkable woman who had such a positive effect on the lifes of those close to her. She will be greatly missed.

 

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