We all know heading back to work after the long Christmas break is the worst! It is dark outside, the winds are chilly, and Christmas is nearly a year away! Moods plunge, motivations are lost, and the resolutions you made for the new year become difficult to achieve. January is meant to be the month of self-improvement and reinvention. Why not keep it positive and stress free for a moment or two by spending some time with nature? Studies have shown that exposure to natural landscapes and to wildlife are beneficial for our mental and physical well-being. In fact, a term has been coined for the distress that distance from nature can cause to the psychology of humans – ecoagnosy! The never-ending struggle to keep up with work and life ensures that it becomes difficult to find a moment to pause and smell the roses. So take the pressure off yourself this January and explore Ireland’s native beauty with these gorgeous photography books.
by Sean Cannon
Sean Cannon’s photographic journey with Achill Island began as a young boy traveling with his parents from County Monaghan to the West of Ireland to visit his grandfather. Walking along Keem Bay and Keel Beach with his family opened his eyes to the beauty of the western light. Across the arc of his photographic life, Sean Cannon brings you Achill Island in its many moods. For those who have visited or intend to visit Achill, this intimate collection of images specially chosen by Sean celebrates 30 years of photography exhibited in the Western Light Art Gallery. With a mixture of images in both black & white and colour, this selection includes some of his most loved and celebrated images illustrating the fragile beauty of his island home.
by Patrick G. Ryan
Clare’s Wild Atlantic Way is a collection of aerial photographs, taken and compiled by pilot-photographer Patrick G. Ryan that renders Clare’s coast in all of its unique beauty. The awe-inspiring images capture both the rugged natural landscape of Clare and the man-made structures – castles, towers and lighthouses – that enhance it. The collection includes popular tourist destinations such as the Burren, Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher, along with lesser-known sites. Each location is also accompanied by text that gives a brief overview of its history, flora and fauna, and references in popular culture, as well as offering suggested activities for tourists.
by Thomas Walsh and Liam Lyons
The west of Ireland, the old province of Connaught, is, for the most part, a wild and beautiful place. Its rugged coastline faces the broad Atlantic. Its mountains and glens are often lonely places, but if you look closely against a slanting evening sun you might see the traces of some old cultivation ‘where mountainy men have sown’ as Padraig Pearse observed. Poetry is a great vehicle of memory. Lines lodged in the heart can conjure up better than any other medium, I think, scenes from our childhood. The poems and pictures from this collection will be cherished by people from the west no matter where they have settled in this great world. There are, of course, poems that recount our history. The poets are, for the most part, native to Connaught. The photographs, like the place itself, have a haunting beauty about them.
by Mark Joyce
A Portrait of Connemara is a photographic exploration of one of Ireland’s most beautiful regions; a stunning and wonderful new perspective of wild landscapes, intimate portraits and untamed mountains from photographer Mark Joyce. Years in the making, A Portrait of Connemara renews and redefines the magic of this much loved area. Connemara is a visual treasure trove, which faces the Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland. Many unique sites are included in this book, breath-taking views of the sky road in Clifden, Kylemore Abbey and Roundstone bay. Within this portfolio of work are intimate shots of country house interiors and portraits of people, a collection images that succeeds in capturing this rare land through the seasons. This book will excite and delight those who know Connemara well and reveal its character to those who have yet to experience the majesty of one of Ireland’s most treasured landscapes.
by Shane McCoy and Colin White
When it comes to dogs, Ireland boasts a broad and diverse range of breeds whose origins are uniquely Irish. From the iconic Irish Wolfhound to the lesser-known Glen of Imaal Terrier, the native dogs of Ireland are ancient breeds with diverse histories and mythologies. With nine Irish breeds in total – four terriers, three gun dogs and two hounds – each breed evolved and developed specific characteristics to assist them in the daily life of an Ireland long past. Not only working dogs, they also formed an integral part of Irish family life and proved to be superb companion animals. From their humble beginnings, it was in the early 20th century that these native dogs were increasingly connected with Irish Nationalism and became symbols of Ireland’s Celtic past. This book provides a pictorial look at all of our native breeds, each one an intrinsic part of our rich heritage. These dogs are to be treasured and protected as a vital piece of our historical inheritance. Photographed amidst the wild beauty of Ireland’s countryside, Native Irish Dogs is a stunning portfolio of native Irish dogs in their instinctive habitat.