The empty house has long been a metaphor for the depopulation—especially rural depopulation—of Ireland. Photographically, the gutted mansion and the tumbledown cabin have provided countless images infused with gothic mystery or nostalgic warmth which would astonish those who built or lived in them. In deliberate contrast, I am photographing more recently empty houses of Ireland, houses which have been habitable within recent memory, or have yet to be inhabited, but which now remain untenanted; they are found in every one of the thirty-two counties (there are 300,000 such houses in the Republic of Ireland alone). Some, perhaps, were built by families hoping to postpone the drift of children away from the farm towards the cities; others were built by speculators who misjudged the stamina of the Celtic Tiger; others are sturdy older houses which slipped into disrepair only a few years ago. All were obviously unoccupied, with any building work dormant, when I photographed them from mid-2009 onwards. The majority are from County Cork, where I live, but I am hoping to widen the geographical range in the next year or two.
The images are of course available individually as unnumbered prints (approximately A4 images printed on high-quality A3 paper) with the text on an accompanying sheet. Each print is €30 including despatch (Ireland and UK) or €35 (elsewhere); see the Ordering page for details.