Yesterday I took part in this protest against the extraordinarily ill-conceived and poorly thought out proposed 465 hectare salmon farm in the lee of the Aran Islands off of the West Coast of Ireland.
This farm poses a grave threat to the fragile ecosystem of the already much depleted salmon stocks of Ireland. I strongly believe that it is up to the people of Ireland to protect this habitat from the destruction which will be wrought if big business is allowed to exploit the fishing industry just like they did with the meat industry. Which has already suffered untold damage after the shame of the much publicised horse meat scandal.
The west of Ireland already continues to suffer the exploitation wrought by big business through the Corrib Gas Pipeline controversy. And so yet again it falls to people power to resist the destruction of our country in the face of politicians who don’t seem to give two fucks about selling our precious natural resources to the highest bidder, and to hell with the consequences for future generations.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) is the Irish fisheries body that is supposed to protect Irish waters, yet it continuously misrepresents and withholds scientific data and lies to the Irish public about the well established risks posed by open water fish farms.
In order to avoid the obvious dangers of farmed salmon spreading lethal sea lice to our native wild salmon, the BIM proposes to use chemicals to kill parasites. Now it doesn’t take a genius to see the dangers of pumping yet more chemicals into our already damaged waters, yet the BIM doesn’t seem to be able to see the risks that anyone with half a brain can quite clearly perceive, and which scientific research has also proven beyond any reasonable doubt.
All that the BIM likes to shout about is the creation of jobs for the local economy. But I think that the Irish people have heard enough bullshit about job creation that never comes to pass from our politicians as they ravish our country to be rightly cynical about the chances of any actual new jobs ever transpiring.
When the fecal matter from millions of fish is washed into Irish seas, alongside parasites, chemicals, and god knows what else, and then goes on to ruin our pristine environment, kills our fishing industry, and damages our tourism industry beyond repair, then I’m quite certain that more jobs will be lost than could ever be created from such a deplorable misuse of our natural resources.
Local and national media as per usual seem to have little or no interest in reporting the dangers of this farm to the Irish people as well as largely ignoring this protest, and so I felt it that it was my duty to make my small contribution to making this a more widely discussed issue. The Irish Times reported about the protest yesterday here, yet they didn’t even deem the protest worthy of a photograph. The Galway independent reported about the protest here, and again didn’t bother adding a photograph of the protest and also reported that only 500 people attended the protest compared to the Irish Times report of 2,000 in attendance. Quite the discrepancy huh.
I’d say that the figure of 2,000 people was much closer to the mark, and I salute all those who arranged the protest, the few politicians who bothered to attend, the great speakers who spoke with such vigour, and each and every person who attended in order to assert their opposition to this wanton destruction of our local environment.
Fair play to all involved and let’s just hope that the people with the power to put a stop to this monstrous idea for a fish farm will start to listen to the will of the people before it’s too late.
Here’s a few shots that I just took on my trip back to Glasgow in search of some work. The night was real cold, but the lights were beautiful enough to warrant traipsing around in the dark getting sore feet for an evening in order to try and capture them.
I took all these shots on whatever platforms that I came across on my travels that could hold my camera steady enough for a 30 second exposure at f11. I retained these settings for pretty much all of these shots, and I’m pretty happy with the results.
I’m still in Glasgow for the foreseeable so let me know if you like the shots, or if you can think of somewhere else that might be worth photographing whilst I’m still here..
Here’s just a limited selection of some of the many bizarre though quite fascinating statues that I came across on my trip to Prague in the Czech Republic a while back.
I don’t know whether the surreal nature of Prague’s public art is due to the influence of Czech surrealists such as Jan Svankmajer, or Franz Kafka. Or, perhaps it’s the result of the destruction wrought upon Czech art and architecture by the second world war that required such artistic reinvention. Maybe the Czechs choose not to celebrate historical figures through public effigies because of their country’s troubled period of communist rule that may have left them weary of hero worship after suffering the destructive state sponsored propaganda of fallen idols such as Stalin for so many years. Perhaps it’s simply the prevalence of mind altering drugs on the streets of Bohemia since the decrimalisation of drugs for personal use that has unleashed such a creative approach to enriching public spaces with artistic ingenuity.
Whatever the reason may be for Prague’s bevy of idiosyncratic street sculptures, I for one am all for it. Through a haze of cannabis smoke I trawled throughout the city of Prague constantly surprised and enthralled by the many surreal incursions into my day that these works of art provided me with.
Upon my return to Ireland, whilst trudging through the streets of Dublin I couldn’t help but feel short changed by the lack of invention of our own Irish artisits in their creation of public pieces of art. There are only so many grey statues of long dead war mongerers, or bronze casts of expatriate Irish writers that can be stomached before you start to question what the Irish are lacking in so sorely when it comes enriching public spaces.
I remember once reading the Czech writer Milan Kundera describing his Czech countrymen as “heretics” as a result of their lack of enthusiasm for religous or political doctrines and the simple pleasure that they take in living life to its fullest. As I stood in O’Connell Street in Dublin after my trip to Prague, I looked towards the GPO, the scene of Ireland’s greatest act of rebellion in 1916 which eventually led to our country’s independence. However, my view across the road to this historic building was partially obscured by the great phallic monstrosity that is the Millenium Spire quietly spunking its celtic tiger euro millions into the air. And I thought to myself, that perhaps there’s something that us conformist Irish could do with learning from these Czech herectics.
You may have noticed that my daily posting has slackened off considerably of late, but this has not been the result of laziness on my part (well not completely), but rather because I’ve been off enjoying celebrating my 28th birthday in the lovely city of Rome.
Rome is a beautiful city with so much to see and do that even with a whole week to explore its environs, there’s still a hell of a lot that I missed out on. Whatever I did have the opportunity to visit though, I’ve dutifully tried to photograph, and I hope that you’ll enjoy this little taste of my photographic record of my voyage to Rome.
The juxtaposition of ancient Roman ruins alongside the elaborate architecture and artworks of the Renaissance is a continuous feast for the eyes, whilst the opportunity to indulge myself in my first experiences of authentic Italian food was a delight for my belly (as was evident by its increased rotundity upon my return).
All the photographs that you see are available to buy in my store, which can be visited by clicking here, or on any of the photos.
Thanks for stopping by,
Yesterday I had the (dis)pleasure of attending the Galway Races 2012 courtesy of a free ticket that I got from Galway.com, so that I could take a few photos of the happy day.
I have to admit that it remains somewhat of a mystery to me how the Galway Races is considered to be the highlight of the summer for so many Galwegians.
Yesterday was Lady’s Day at the races, which meant that I bore witness to many Irish women exposing far more of themselves than could ever possibly be considered visually alluring to anyone but the most fool hardy fans of flashes of Irish pasty skin overspilling ill fitting dresses. These uneasy style afficianodoes then todder along upon unfeasibly large heels, to which the wearer has clearly not had the chance to become accustomed to wearing before at such high-faluting fashionable occasions as the races. Or in fact ever, judging by the amount of stumbling style icons that I encountered throughout the day.
That’s not to say that there weren’t a few well attired beauties amongst the maelstrom of ill adorned ladies, which I’ve done my very best to take a few shots of, though these were admittedly few and far between. Taking photos amongst the heaving drunken masses is also one hell of a challenge, especially coupled with the incessant rain that we’ve been damned with all summer long here in Galway.
However, Galway’s stubbornly maritime climate didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of all that many weather beaten Irish punters, whose sunny dispositions I jealously witnessed and then dutifully tried to document.
The races also appear to me to be the most utterly elitist gathering of people that takes place in Galway. The rich take helicopters in and sit in reserved booths sipping champagne and being waited on hand and foot, whilst the rest of the plebs take a bus that progresses through the infamously egregious Galway traffic at slower than walking speed in order to painfully soldier onwards to the course. Once they have the pleasure of eventually arriving at the races, they can then que like mistreated cattle for half an hour to get a cheeseburger that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemies, which is served alongside chips refried in dirty frying oil so many times that they now seem to have only a faint recollection of their time spent as a potato.
The taste of such culinary insults demands to be washed out by a pint of Guinness, which is served in a plastic cup that seems to magically evaporate to half its size on the sharp elbowed trip back to your square foot of standing position back outside in the rain.
A cantankerous young man I may well be, but I can think of a whole lot more fun ways to spend the day in Galway that doesn’t involve wringing every last cent out of my pocket for hospitality that could be bettered in Butlin’s holiday camp circa 1958.
And don’t get me started on those unfortunate race horses. I mean they say that they’re made for racing and that’s what they enjoy, but if that’s the case then why does it take up to ten men to man handle them in order to force them into a trap that they obviously have no wish to enter.
If forcing animals to do something they don’t want to do for our own enjoyment is considered a sport, then I think it’s about time I made my monkey tennis dreams a reality.
Anyways, here’s some of my photos of the day of people that seem to be having a lot more fun than I could ever possibly muster, and good luck to them, I certainly admire their unquenchably positive outlook!(in a way)
I’m now away for a quiet pint in the dark corner of an unassuming little pub far from the tourist trail, where I can escape the heaving throngs of these alien effervescent souls so hellbent on having fun, in order to wait for all these corporate sponsored summer festivities to draw to a close, so I can finally have my nice quiet miserable little city back.
Enjoy the rest of the races everyone else! Only 3 more days to go!
I decided to take a break from my semi retirement from daily photo blogging in order to share some shots that I got last night from the Macnas Parade for the Galway Arts Festival 2012.
Macnas put on one hell of a show and the parade was great, although unfortunately the weather was far from it.
It’s a real challenger to take any kind of reasonable shots of a parade taking place under torrential rain after the sun has already set, but I did give it my best shot. And I do think that I managed to do the foolhardy participants and observers of the parade some amount of justice on a few occasions with some fairly decent shots, though I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Click here to go to my shop to buy any of my shots.
Here’s a little selection of shots that I’ve gathered over the years on my travels throughout Europe. I enjoy shooting statues like they were live people and framing them accordingly, because it seems to breathe life into these static objects.
I think photography is often the most satisfying way of looking at statues, because photos reduce everybody to static statues frozen at the point that the camera’s shutter was released. And as a result of the stasis enshrined in the photographic process, pictures of these lifeless sculptures can sometimes appear just as alive any person photographed.
Let me know if you can recognise any of these, as I can hardly remember where I took them myself!