Street Photo Diary: St. Patricks Day Edition

Every year, at this time, the city of Dublin get’s a little greener. I’m not talking about some environmental initiative though. It’s not a sudden growth of trees or grass either. No, instead I’m talking about the annual build up to St. Patricks Day. Where every shop, pub and restaurant does it’s patriotic duty and adorns their premises in the requisite amount of green trappings, from Shamrocks to Leprechauns. If you didn’t know what was going on you’d think there was some kind of plastic outbreak.

While the celebrations for our national holiday culminate in the festivities of St. Patricks Day itself, the week before sees this wave of decorations take hold. A decade ago it was pretty subtle, but over the past few years, people and places have been going all out. I’m sure the ever increasing tourist numbers have helped this phenomenon. It’s good to see, even though I must confess that I’m not a huge fan of the tacky Irish stereotype of the drunk leprechaun dancing around a pot of gold while waving a shamrock, but it’s the thought that counts, right? 

As a photographer, it always makes an interesting subject, and this year, I headed out for a photowalk across the city on a beautiful and uncharacteristically warm march day, with the intention of capturing a snapshot of Dublin’s annual greening. As always, it’s an interesting experience, and the decorations range for the subtle to the not so subtle, and the tacky to the ever so creative. With Irish flags and shamrocks pretty much everywhere, lots of leprechauns and the odd pot of gold, what I found most interesting was what I didn’t see any sign of: the saint himself. Throughout my day of wandering and photo taking, I don’t think I saw a single image of St. Patrick anywhere. Oh well, I guess you can’t think of everything!

Originally posted on Thomas Fitzgerald Photography

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