Man and his Horse
I think this is one of my favourite images of the Sheriff Street series. The inner city looked very rough back then. The north inner city look like shite. Everybody just wanted to get out including me.
Old Woman Walks her Do
I can’t emphasize how much waste land is a photographer's paradise. You can do so much there. Isolate and shoot to your heart's content. Hang around these areas if you are taking pictures in the streets .The flats were as a set for the film In The Of The Father with Daniel Day Lewis.
There were a lot of kids playing in the street when I was shooting there. Large families were common back in the 80’s. “Take my picture mister” is a phrase that will stick forever. I don’t now if that road sign can be seen around Dublin.
Burned Out Cars
Sheriff Street was a very well known area for cars to be burnt out. People had very little work. It was an old docker community and during the 60’s and 70’s work disappeared. I remember that my heart jumped for joy when I say these cars. Now, I don’t think I’d have to same joy like that.
This sort of hold was a craze the kids pick up from American TV wrestling shows. Children watched a lot of American TV wrestling shows and here the children are copying a move they saw on those shows. It was a very sunny day to there is a lot of depth of field.
People were being moved out of the flats and then the flats where blocked up. These steel framed windows were very popular in the past. The kids had a great time going into these flats. You can see the Boundary Wall in the background which is the only thing that exists still today. The flats are all gone.
Kids smoking in Dublin was always a big thing. It showed that you were like an adult ready to go and work with your father. I don’t really like this picture because it’s not an image I’d like to portray from Sheriff Street. I show it as a pure documentary photo.
These women would have seen a huge change in the area over time. The scarves were very much what older women wore in the street. My mother wore this type of scarf going everywhere. I think these women would have been very religious going to mass and confession every week.
Often you would see young children collecting wood to bring home. A simple way to make ends meet. Other times children collected wood for the Halloween bonfire. I enjoyed this scene because it was around Christmas and these kids were well dressed but that didn’t stop them form collecting firewood. I enjoy the shadows of Dublin.
This bull terrier looks really happy after getting the football. This scene would not happen now. The kids looked scared of the dog. Dogs on the street was always a part of the northside. This dog was well known in the area. I forget his name now.
Many of the kids in Sheriff Street played with anything they found in the street. The bike looks like a BMX which was just beginning to get popular. There is a lot of luck in photography and this is a shot that is pure luck. Right place, right time and the shutter release pressed at the right moment, luck.
The local shops in these types of areas were popular for meet ups. There wasn’t much of a choice for fruit and veg in the 80’s. The kids had just finished school and were hanging about. I just love the bareness of the front window.
Irish nuns are famous for educating and probably this nun lived in a local convent and worked in the local schools. The boys were usually educated by the Christian Brothers, the schools for boys were CBS schools. Nobody I know liked the Christian Brothers. I think there were more grey days than sunny days in Dublin.
This shot is all about the shadows. I love the shadows of the men on the wall in the background. I like to use blank spaces to highlight people in my photographs. If you see a seen like this it is well worth just hanging around and watch the way shadows light up people.
This doesn’t look like a good playground area but the kids would have passed many a happy time here. The kids used anything they could to pass the time and games such as squares and kick the can were big favorites.
Kids and a Table
When I was there they were moving families out and the kids played in the broken window frames of the vacant flats and furniture found in the street. I used to do this myself. Before Halloween the kids tried to collect fire for the bonfire.
Woman and Kids
The street has completely changed now. The flats are all gone and now there are banks, nice cafes and apartments. I just love the dynamic of this shot. Everybody seems to be well positioned. I don’t set up shots, I usually say very little while I shoot.
Terrier and Skates
The light of this picture reminds me so much of Dublin. For all of this work I just a SLR and a 35m 2.8 lens. I don’t believe in carrying a lot of equipment. That dog was well known in the flats. I have several shots of him. He was a like a guard dog for these kids, keeping them out of trouble.
The Local Shop
Children spent their time looking through windows at things they couldn’t buy. This old man was a local character. I never had any trouble taking pictures there. I suppose I had the same accent as them and I knew some people there. It was a very happy time for me.
Tracy Loves Yoyo
I just love this simple graffiti on the wall. This is one of the first images I took in Sheriff Street. I think I’d prefer the boy to be looking to left but the picture works anyway. We can always make better pictures but sometimes you just have to take what is given to you.