• PAUL O’LEARY

    Photographer

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All About Barbershop Portraits Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits Eclectic Portraits Plastic Paddy Shelton Living on the campus We'll live and die in these towns

About
As a documentary photographer I attempt to record the time in which we live, to record the lives of others and in an indirect way chart my own time on this planet. My vision is driven by curiosity.
I’ve exhibited extensively in solo and group shows and my work resides in public and private collections.
Most recently my work has been shown at international photography festivals in Brazil, France, USA and South Africa.
I’m also happy to work in collaboration with outside agencies including recently the BBC and AOC.
I live and teach photography in the UK and am the co-founder of Photofiction and Director/Founder of Photocitizens International Photography Festival. Both collectives were brought together to promote photographic thinking and practice.


Education:
De Montfort University, Leicester, MA Photography.

Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, BA (hons) Photography


Industrial Experience and Exhibitions:

2014-2016

#Photocitizens- Festival Director - Athens, Budapest, Istanbul, Murcia, Paris and Rome
AOC Research Research and Scholarship Conference. Presentation on the global photographic community - Nottingham, May 2016
Cycle City, Active City Conference. Presentation on Inclusiveness, mass-participation and collaboration in public art - May 2016
The Self(ie) and the other: Portraiture - Budapest, Hungary - 2015
Aleppo International Photography Festival, Syria - 2015
MOP6. Cape-Town, South Africa- October 2014
Encontros da Imagem 2014, International festival of Photography, Portugal - Sept 2014
Photometria Photo Festival. Ioannina, Greece - Sept 2014
Les Boutographies Rencontres Photographiques De Montpellier - May 2014
Fotofilmic Awards - F/Fí14 ShortList#02 -April 2014
New York Photo Festival- March 2014
Artist and Project Profile - Foto8 - Jan 2014

2007-2013

Connect External Exhibition, Leicester November 2013- May 2014
International Festival Photography Sau Paolo, Brazil - Sept 2013
August Sander Learning Project Exhibition LPPG - 2013
Co-Coordinator August Sander Learning Project in association with Artist Rooms and Art Fund - 2013
Cultural Olympiad National Exhibition Tour July 2012 LCB Depot Gallery, Leicester - May 2012
BBC Big Screen, Leicester March 2009 BBC Big Screen, Leicester - March 2008
Lakeside Gallery, Nottingham Aug 2007 Ukraine National Museum Of Modern Art, Kiev - May 2007

2001-2006

Durham Art Gallery - 2006
Haven Art Gallery, Boston ñ 2006 Aberystwyth Arts Centre - 2006
A.O.P Gallery, London - 2006
Kodak International Print Exhibition - 2006
Front cover of DPICT
Royal Photographic Society Tour 2006 (Front cover of tour catalogue)
City Gallery, Leicester Oct 2006 Red Dot Gallery, Luton - 2005
Clotsworthy Arts Centre, Antrim - 2001
The Gantry, Southampton - 2001
Gosport Gallery, Hampshire - 2001

1994-2000

Octagon Gallery, Bath - 2000
Aberystwyth Arts Centre - 2000
Kodak International Print Exhibition - 2000
Living on the Campus (book) permanent exhibition, Thompson Library Staffordshire University - 1997
Flaxman Gallery, Stoke - 1997 Association Of Photographers Gallery, London - 1997
City Gallery, Leicester - 1994
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Eclectic Portraits
Individual client based work and extracts from smaller projects.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Shelton Living on the campus
This collection of portraits describes the varied community that lives and works in the parish of Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

This community has changed markedly during the last quarter of a century. With the growth of the college into firstly a polytechnic and then a new university has come a young and shifting student population. Families of Asian origin have been moving to Shelton for some years, and the remnants of the traditional white population still form a significant part of the population of the area.

My photographs chart the people in their homes, student accommodation and businesses. When exhibited, the piece also allowed the subjects an opportunity to make short statements about their lives and thoughts.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Portraits
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Blood, Sweat and Lycra Interiors
O'Leary's striking photographs of the underground sport of amateur British wrestling focus on the gladiators and their coliseum. His large-format studio portraits of the wrestlers highlight their theatrical hand-made outfits in stark contrast to the mundane settings in which they often perform.
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Plastic Paddy
I was born into a warm, loving, Irish home. Faith, family and a strong work ethic were the backbone of my parents’ existence. The other people who helped raised me, taught me my history and enriched my developing years, were Big Tom, the Wolfe Tones, The Chieftains and The Dubliners who filled the house with music and enlightenment. I thank you all sincerely for the education.

My father was born in Cork and my mother in Roscommon. They met, married and raised a family in England (Leicester). From the day I was born I was an Irish citizen via my parents’ passport. Through going to Catholic schools, the majority of my mates had Irish parents who had, likewise, come over to England for work, and settled. Most of us made regular trips ‘home’, looked Irish, sang Irish songs, played Gaelic football and embraced all aspects of Irish culture. We were, however, born and raised in England, so were we Irish or English? When we hit our teens we had the choice to be Irish or British citizens through our passport choice. I declined the opportunity to become a British citizen not through some form of misguided schoolboy politics but simply because there was no choice in my eyes. Weeks later my green passport arrived.

It’s worth remembering that this was 1980’s Britain, a country whose citizens were being bombed and killed by the IRA. For our parents (not for the first time) their accents could, and were being held against them. This was a time when ‘choosing’ to be Irish was not popular, but you either hid away or wore your brightest colours. Denouncing the bombings and trying to explain that these tactics did not represent the views of the community seemed to do little to convince the suspicious. Over time, being Irish has no doubt worked for and against its citizens living in Britain, as one of my interviewees (Josephine Feeney) said:

In 1974 when the pubs in Birmingham were bombed there was a very, very strong anti-Irish feeling especially in the Midlands. The police investigation did ripple as far as Leicester. I’m glad to say that attitudes have changed a lot. Immigrant groups always go through this kind of situation where they’re despised, rejected, tolerated and then rejoiced.


So where did we fit in this turbulent cultural melting pot? Flying to Ireland in the days before budget airlines was an expensive experience, and if you had to get the ferry across the sea it was also a long, long bumpy crossing. However, this was something you needed and wanted to do. As a child, the thought of spending three weeks in West Cork on the family farm with a beach three minutes away was hardly a chore. Bringing in the hay, going for adventures by the river and playing ‘hurley’ with your cousins brings back warm memories. This was far more than a holiday! The worst part was always the day of departure. I remember my father having tears in his eyes. Were the tears for his relations, some of whom were getting older and whom he might never see again or were they for the home he was leaving once more? I never asked. Nobody likes to see their parents distressed and if truth were told tears were flowing down the cheeks of the two boys in the back of the car (my brother and I) also. I believed that those feelings of sadness on leaving Ireland were my father’s and that my brother and I were simply reacting to his sorrow, but adult life has taught me differently. The gut-wrenching feeling on departing Ireland hasn’t dissipated. I will find every excuse to visit Ireland, to visit ‘home’. After marrying a girl who’s father is from Derry I discovered that not everyone (of Irish parentage) shared my sense of Irish Origin. She considers herself firstly a Londoner and then a European.

I have met people born of Irish parents through this project that believe that your place of birth and residency makes you who you are. On the other side, I’ve met people like myself who don’t believe they ever chose to be Irish, but were born Irish.

Eamon de Velera promised his people work and good standards of living in Ireland, yet until the decade leading up to 1990, 50,000 people per year emigrated. We are a result of this. Place of birth does not represent people’s origin, that is determined by a list of variables, which at birth, are out of our control, primarily politics and economics. We could argue for our national identity until our last gasp of breath, but why bother. Few things in life are simple why should your nationality be any different?

The Irish Constitution was amended by referendum in 1998 to acknowledge the importants to Irish history of the diaspora, and its relationship to Irish citizenship. This may seem very overdue considering that there are five million people in Ireland, but approximately 70 million people worldwide, entitled to call themselves Irish.

Ádh mór ort!
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
Barbershop Portraits
You don't grow a beard or moustache, it's grows on you.
You can't fully appreciate what you'll look like until it's there. You may decide to start through laziness or follow current trends. Only this week American surgeons are reported to be doing hair transplants on faces for the folicaly challenged hipsters.
To really study a face with a beard the first question most people will ask themselves is how long did it take to get to that length? Once it's there you don't even question it, you'll find a man who has had his beard for some years won't draw your attention. Until he chooses to groom it, shape it or let it gain some size. It's not like the hair on your head it says very different things about you.
Facial topiary has become a dependable source of income for the fashion industry, with male grooming being a worthy subject for magazines and beauty products.
So only one question remains, to paraphrase England’s bearded bard...............
To beard or not to beard?

Yours to the last whisker
Barry
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.
We'll live and die in these towns
This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca-Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process that requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Leicester’s history.

March 2016

Ilford Photo Student Photographer Of The Year 2015 Winner Announced “After another year of record entries, Harman Technology has announced

December 2015

Documentary Media Month (1st-30th November 2015) presented a programme of FREE events and workshops covering 4 areas: documentary film documentary

August 2015

Budapest Portraits- The Self(ie) and the other: Portraiture   Here’s a couple of my shots that are being shown at

March 2015

Experimenting and collaborating Working on a couple of different projects at the moment. Shooting some portraits in the studio on