I photographed this lovely gentleman about 20 years ago on a rainy day in a pub on a dreary day in Millstreet. Spent a few hours chatting with him as I waited to pick my sister up from Drishane. I believe his name was Owen. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
This came in as an email to millstreet.ie. Can anyone help? … and I was wondering what pub is it, as i don’t recognise that windowsill. If so, leave a comment please. (there have been a number of helpful comments already, click here to read them)
Here is an extended version of the story of how the photo came to be taken:
Twenty odd years ago I went home to Ireland for a week to celebrate my brothers wedding. Upon arrival my mother asked me to drive to Millstreet, a small town near Cork where I was born, to pick up my younger sister who was attending a local convent. The Reverend Mother would not release my sister but suggested I return some three hours later.
Millstreet is not a very large town (population 1400) but boasts more pubs per capita than most Irish Villages. It was a typically miserable Irish day so I searched for a pub that had a warm fireplace to pass a couple of hours.
When I finally found the perfect spot I bellied up to the bar and ordered a pint. It didn’t take long to realize that there was only one other warm soul in the establishment. I spotted this wonderful gentleman sitting at the end of the room by the window. I have never been one to take pictures of other’s but something within pushed me through my shyness to approach this man.
I asked him if I could take his picture and without hesitation he agreed. As I fumbled with my camera equipment I noticed he was preparing himself for the photograph. I asked him to leave everything just as it was and to lift his glass in a typical Irish salute, Slainte (to your health).
I nervously snapped off three shots. As I was putting away my equipment I noticed him pulling back his coat, revealing a jacket underneath. Opening his jacket he delved into a breast pocket in his vest. He pulled out a little plastic purse which he squeezed open and extricated a few coins. He stretched out his hand and offered me a few shillings.
“What are you doing”, I said. “You took me likeness, I have to pay you”.
I called over the bartender and ordered a couple of pints of Guniness. His name was Owen Riordan. He had worked all his life in the fields, behind horses ploughing and tilling (check out his hands). He had never left the village but did have some friends who had sailed to the “new world”. Sacramento.
Upon my return to California I made some prints and sent them to him. I never heard from him again but it wasn’t important. I have been paid a lot of money to photograph grass but images like this are priceless. I am glad that it has given you a little pleasure.
(Aiden Bradley January 25, 2010)