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CBS features Irish photographer's portraits of emigrants

The Leaving Dublin project has brought an Irish photographer international recognition.
Jan 24th 2011, 1:27 PM 3,904 5

PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID MONAHAN hit upon the idea of taking portraits of Irish emigrants against eerily-lit Dublin cityscapes, when a relative asked him to take their photo before they left Ireland for good.

The idea of shooting photographs of intending emigrants against the city they would soon be leaving was such a compelling one, he put out a call on YouTube for more participants. So far, he has photographed more than 25 people.

“I was trying to think of something that would get me noticed. But I never expected it to get noticed to this extent,” he told

The hauntingly beautiful results of Monahan’s many late nights in a deserted city ended up featuring in the Wall Street Journal, and on CBS television at the weekend.

It went viral in a very small way – I suppose it got noticed by someone, who thought it was a good vehicle to describe the latest wave of emigration from Ireland. CBS contacted me, and they flew a team over and spent three days making a package about the images. It’s been an amazing experience – it’s like becoming an overnight success story after 15 years.

View David Monahan’s stunning photographs here:

See the photographs set to music in his original YouTube video about the project:

Would you like to participate in David Monahan’s Leaving Dublin project? Contact him via his blog >

See more: Watch him talk about the project on CBS >.

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Jennifer O'Connell


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