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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Ireland in a snapshot: Being reminded of our own mortality

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 audience which reflects a small piece of Ireland that resonates with us all. 

As people celebrate Hallowe’en this week, our mortality is never far from our minds. 

Donal writes:

“A dying kid of 24 recently wrote, ‘Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.’

It’s the same with photography. Shoot what you want and the way you want it to look. Stay true to yourself and it will never be work.

Sometimes I find it difficult to put into words what’s going on in my head, so I use photography. It’s a powerful tool. 


I found this farmhouse that was built in the mid 1700s but was only abandoned about 20 years ago. The person who alerted me to it asked, ‘What is it about these old dilapidated places that excites you?’ I replied, ‘I love that adrenaline drive home knowing I’ve conquered another forbidden place and it’s safely locked away in my camera.’

It may not be what others see but I try to interpret what my own eye captures. I love being alone in these places and attempting to unravel their histories. I feel privileged, it feels right, it feels real, it feels like I’ve been true to myself. 


Nothing moves me more than being reminded of my mortality. I enjoy the nostalgia but perhaps the biggest thrill of all is the search for the holy grail. I don’t know what it is or how it will look but I’ll know when I find it. I love the hunt and in a perverse way I enjoy the excitement of the unknown and the possible danger in entering these places. I love that buzz of being somewhere I know I shouldn’t.”

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Donal Moloney

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