Photos: To dream the impossible dream.


How It’s New York: In Ireland, dreamers look across the Atlanticto the American dream– as we look to Ireland as a place of vision.
How It’s Irish: John Cash is an Irish photographer, and these photos were taken there. I

A gorgeous prose-poem of a photo-essay from photographer John Cash, in which he dreams of America while photographing Ireland. 

On a cold windy evening the lone figure stands looking westwards from the west coast of Ireland and his thoughts are of America more specifically of New York. 

He remembers happy times in New York, times when the American dream seemed possible even for someone who actually lived in Ireland still. The dream had not faded even slightly, the hunger to bring the beauty of all things Irish to anyone who would show interest in his photography was still the same as when he had exhibited his work in New York seven years before. 

He remembers with pride the reactions of people who took the time to look closely at his work, these were not hastily snapped images of Ireland, rather they were images created with time and care but most of all patience. 

A famous Irish drink used the saying ” Nothing added but Time” and this indeed would be a fitting description of this photographers work, still using film cameras, no Photoshop or digital enhancing yet these images could still hold and captivate the viewers attention. .

He also remembers the immense pride he felt on that visit as he carried the Charles Kickham  banner of the Tipperary Association through Manhattan for the St. Patrick’s day parade. As they marched along he remembers thinking to himself “God if Ireland had been any bigger we could have taken over the world..” 

It was never confirmed for him but he suspected that his good friend Niall Conroy of Mustang Harry’s, Sally’s, Seven and  Jack’s had played a hand in him being asked to carry the banner. Niall immediately seemed to understand what he was trying to achieve with his work and had been a huge support, something which the photographer would be eternally grateful for

Now as the breeze shook his tripod blowing in from the western seaboard the photographer hoped, a bit like the fisherman he could see a little further down, that his patience would pay off. He had traveled to the west coast the previous day, but this was the first time since then that there was even the slightest promise of capturing some strong images. As he waited he hung his camera bag from the hook on his tripod to stabilize it from the breeze, he pulled up the zipper on his jacket and  pulled down his cap to insulate himself from that same breeze and he hoped that the cloud would break even for a fleeting moment and let the sun that had eluded him since yesterday peek through.

At last there was the smallest break in the cloud allowing a shaft of light to light up a small area of water like a search light.

His heart began to flutter in anticipation and it would be hard not to think this must be new to the photographer, but it was experience that thought him that something good, something spectacular was on the way. His finger hovered over the shutter button, almost like a snipers finger hovers on the trigger, he accesses the scene in the view finder & when the light is just right his finger drops, click followed by the clunk of the mirror locking up followed by the whirr of the motor drive rolling the film on to the next frame.

It was done history was made, a moment in time captured for ever on film, would the final image be good enough to grace a gallery wall or the wall of a home in Dublin, Tipperary or indeed New York, time would tell but the photographer was hopeful as always. Would this be the shot that would finally give him the break, did it matter it would not stop him creating beautiful images anyway because that is a labour of love. The sky was now a mix of red, yellow and orange it lit up the water in a circular patch & it reminded him of a song by his namesake that song is ” Ring of Fire”.


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Copyright 2012 New York Irish Arts


  1. Anonymous says:

    Johnny…absolutely sensational images!!! Makes me want to go to each of those places. Just beautiful!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful pictures! Great view! I love them!

  3. Experience Tipperary says:

    Brilliant, the words and pictures speak of the passion you feel for Ireland 😀 You make a great ambassador for the County. John for Mayor !