Paint it black

A new book by master photographer Richard Fitzgerald feels through the darkness of a disappeared Ireland

25th February, 2018
7
Peatcutters returning home in a rainstorm in Connemara, in 1970: "When I photographed the two men with their donkeys, they looked pitiful drenched to the skin after a heavy downpour, one man still holding a sodden sack over his head. The animals moved wearily; the men too tired to speak to each other. At that time I had not yet read The Painted Woman by Liam O’Flaherty, but when I read the story a few years later, it brought new meaning to the photograph, illuminating the harsh lifestyle of such men."

‘Growing up in Ireland, I found the countryside a dark, mysterious place.”

Richard Fitzgerald recalls his childhood as he introduces his latest book, Dark Ireland: Images of a Lost World. Here, the renowned photographer threads the needle of his youth in Waterford, before forced emigration – “for stealing a bottle of lemonade” – saw him set up home in Britain. His is a story told by half-light: a tale of horses and hedgerows,...

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