Focus on the Pale – 24 hour tour of Dublin supports two charities

by Rose Barrett
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A 24-hour stroll around Dublin City – captured as a photo story – has raised much needed funds for two charities.

‘Focus on the Pale’ was the brainchild of photographer,   Andy Davies, who runs Celtic Photography from his Tallaght based studios and who picks a different charity to fundraise every year.

“The quiz I run is supported by a core group of good people, they come every year” he said. “This year, I visited Barretstown in Co Kildare, an incredible place, doing so much for deserving children and their families. They need €160,000 per week just to run the place, a staggering sum so I decided this would be my cause for the quiz”.

“However, I was asked to photograph an event for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. I was moved by the stories I heard there too, so I also wanted to help them, but the funds raised wouldn’t make much of a difference when divided between the two. So, I needed to do something else, something that I could do to utilise my skills as a photographer.”

And hence he thought of a 24 hour photoshoot!

“I wrote to both charities who were very enthusiastic about the idea. I set off at 7pm on Sunday, August 13 and finished at 7pm on the Monday. I figured it would be better to be relatively fresh and focused whilst walking the streets of our capital at night so that I could keep my wits about me. I had a lot of expensive gear, so it needed to be minded”.

“Starting off, I was very enthused and had no problem asking people if they minded me taking their photos. I was wearing a bib advertising my intentions and people were only too happy to be photographed. As the day rolled on, however, I found it increasingly difficult to engage with anyone – my brain just wouldn’t function.”

Andy noted: “It was interesting to watch the hours pass by and see the change in how the city behaved. Calm and relaxed at 7pm, couples taking leisurely strolls along the riverside or chilling in Grand Canal Lock, but then buzzing with social activity by 11pm in Temple Bar! They slowly empty out to be replaced by bin lorries, street cleaners and urban foxes clearing up after them. Of course, not everywhere is like that, Grafton Street was empty by 12pm. By 4am, I made my way to Smithfield, determined to catch the activity in the Fruit Markets. I was on my second wind!”

“I had scheduled my first proper break at Wynns Hotel on Abbey Street. My wife, Yvonne joined me which lifted my spirits. I had decided that my final resting place (pun intended) would be Croke Park.

“I caught Dalymount en route together with the famous old pub, the Gravediggers. I wanted to see if there might be an opportunity to grab the stereotypical shot of an old man and his pint. In the end I took a selfie it’s still an old man and his pint!”

“The next five hours saw me strolling through Ballybough, along the Tolka River and onto Tolka Park, before reaching Croke Park”.

“As I arrived there, I felt elated but exhausted, and sat on the concourse outside. I had a few people to thank, not least those who had supported the cause during the day but as I began my videologue, I was asked to move to the adjacent pavement as it is private property!”

“Almost as if I was transported back to reality and this had all been a dream. Dublin, I love ya!”

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