Vanishing Ireland is a unique collection of portrait interviews looking at the dying ways and traditions of Irish life and taking us back to an Ireland virtually unrecognisable to today’s post-boom generation. Illustrated with over a hundred evocative and stunning photographs, we meet the people and customs that shaped the cultural identity of the Irish nation. Through their own words and memories, sixty-four men and women transport us back to a time when people lived off the land and the sea, when music and storytelling were essential parts of life, when a person was defined by their trade.
Divided into five parts – Children of the Field, Children of the Music, Children of the Horse, Children of the Trade and Children of the Water – Vanishing Ireland brings together the stories of those who lived through Ireland’s formative years. We hear of children harassed by the Black and Tans, of ceilis in kitchens, and the rigours of working in the fields, of the wonder of electricity and the devastation of emigration. From coalminers to saddlers, farmers to fishermen, along with horse dealers, publicans, housemaids and musicians – these remarkably poignant interviews and photographs, in their simplicity and honesty, will make you laugh and cry but, above all, will provide a valuable chronicle that connects twenty-first century Ireland to a rapidly disappearing world.