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Dublin: 14°C Friday 24 June 2022

Ireland in a Snapshot: Blaamageddon - what happened when I went to a Waterford flour fight

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

Donal Moloney

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

Donal writes:

“I can’t stand still. My personal work is vital to my mental health.

Although financially fruitless, working on documentaries, looking for new ideas or investigating challenging photographic projects take me to my happy place.

I’ve just completed a short documentary that will do the festival circuit over the coming months and I also have a feature in the oven that I started almost a year ago. It’s a huge undertaking but I can only dip into it occasionally as only major finances will determine if I can proceed to the next level. Lots of paperwork and a large slice of luck will determine it’s fate.

In the meantime I keep searching for small photographic projects that are cost efficient and keep me match fit. I adore traveling and each year I research a couple of quirky events. When I’m at home I look for interesting local stuff.

Sometimes I just hop in the car and look for inspiration. Each week I check out what’s on in Ireland. One such event occurred last week in Waterford.

The people of Waterford refer to a particular white bread as Blaa. It’s a doughy white bun that can be sold as either soft or crusty. Damn nice it is too with a sausage and rasher wedged in the middle and a mug of builders tay.

To celebrate the Blaa, I’d heard that the Imagine Arts festival people were having a flour fight in the middle of the city. Too interesting not to be investigated. Sunday morning I hopped into the car and drive straight to Waterford.

It was a very dull day and I arrived an hour before kick off at the Apple Market. I killed an hour by walking the damp empty streets and learning a little about the heavy Viking influence in the city.

One o’clock arrives and a number of theatrical adults dressed in underground/renegade/Mad Max/futuristic garb enter the battle zone.

blamageddon 3 Blaamageddon

A large group of children are divided into two teams and are sworn to their team leaders allegiance. A referee screams the rules and counts down to the mayhem.

Goggles are snapped on and the war begins.

The air is instantly thick with dust and my immediate concern is for my camera but I came prepared. A plastic bag covers all but the lens.

Turnout is a little disappointing, but it doesn’t stop the event organisers from giving it their all. The children are in heaven and their parents delight in their excitement. Several battles occur during a one hour period and I manage to keep the camera safe… or so I thought.

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Just before the finale kids are encouraged to give it their all. Despite being in the safe zone, one kid on roller skates makes a beeline for me. I see it about to happen through the lens but being behind a camera can sometimes distance you from reality. She pelts a fistful of flour straight into my face.


Last year I spent three wild days celebrating the festival of colour in Vrindivan, India with many thousands of people and managed to escape a full face attack. One hour in Waterford and I’d been assassinated.”

Vrindavan Temple (1)

About the author:

Donal Moloney

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