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Puttnam’s soaring praise for aerial photos

December 16th, 2021 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

Dennis Horgan's spectacular photo of Garinish Island is one of the many photos of West Cork that features in his new book.

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LORD David Puttnam has endorsed a new book of aerial photography by Cork-based photographer Dennis Horgan.

Ireland – An Aerial Journey  showcases Ireland’s historic structures, ranging from Cape Clear in the south to Rathlin Island in the north, captured during the course of the last year from both light aircraft and helicopters.

Lord Puttnam wrote in the book’s foreword: ‘For almost 60 years I’ve been flying into the island of Ireland – the past 20 of them spent commuting back and forth on a weekly basis between London and Cork – it all seems a bit mad in hindsight!

‘But it does allow me to claim that in just about every possible combination of weather conditions I know what Ireland looks like from above.

‘Whilst I’ve watched the island change, Dennis has documented that change in all its beauty and complexity.

‘What emerges from these pages is that without intelligent planning, the commercial development of the country could invoke WB Yeats’ prophecy of a “terrible beauty” being born. Ireland’s landscape is unquestionably at a crossroads.’

He said Ireland had largely escaped the industrial devastation of so many parts of the UK, let alone other ‘coal and oil cursed’ nations of the world.

‘It has no ‘black country’, few ‘industrial wastelands’, no endless pattern of oil rigs to permanently disfigure its landscape in ways comparable to that of its larger neighbour.

‘In hindsight, and certainly when viewed from the air, we can now see that as an incredible blessing.’

However he said Dennis had captured ‘warning signs’ where ‘planning appears to be at best haphazard and at worst incoherent’

‘In obeying the ruthless demands of economic growth, we might find ourselves jeopardising the very thing that makes Ireland special, different, or, as we claim in West Cork “a place apart.”’

The Oscar winning director who lives in Skibbereen, said this was an ‘important book,’ in that it ‘celebrates a very particular moment in time.

‘The future beckons; but the past is brilliantly illustrated to remind us that there can be no one-way bet on any form of sustainable future.’

The book’s text is written by Tim McCarthy, a keen amateur photographer and hillwalker with an extensive knowledge of the Irish landscape.

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