Moloney's Eye

Ireland in a snapshot: Petey's Cottage

Each week, photographer and filmmaker Donal Moloney shares a small piece of Ireland that reflects the bigger picture.


EACH WEEKEND, PHOTOGRAPHER and filmmaker Donal Moloney shares an image with audience which reflects a small piece of Ireland that resonates with us all. 

In a week where we’ve seen housing protests and what it means to have a home under the microscope, he brings us this shot of Petey’s cottage, found just as it was left after his retirement into a nursing home.

Donal writes: 

“Necessity, curiosity or ambition are just some of the reasons why so many Irish men and women leave our shores. Petey’s story is most likely no different. During the 1950s he left a remote part of Ireland for Manchester to start a new life. Trading time-aged Connemara marble for the urgency of the steel and steam of an industrial revolution.

“Despite a journey that only takes an hour today, he could not escape the constant lure of his true home. Some years later he returned a less than healthy man and tended a tiny farm. His final days were spent in a retirement home.

“Like many Irish homes, his two-roomed house was protected by religious icons and heroes in framed illustrations and watchful statues. These gave people a reason to live, offered them a sense of home and belonging and helped many through their loneliness. They were a daily reminder of their strong faith and reason for hope.”


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