Midleton Agricultural Show – 25/5/14

Bill Sisk-1

Bill Sisk, Susan Meaney, Magda Klujewska and RJ Mani at Midleton Show

Four Group members covered the Midleton Agricultural Show 2014 shoot at The Paddocks, Midleton on Sunday 25/5/14. We moved through the show field to photograph the various subjects as can be seen from our photographs below.

- Bill Sisk

I was very late on parade, as I couldn't get in until after lunch. Unfortunately, I missed out on Bill Sisk and the other ECCG members, who arrived at the proper time. Sorry folks!

However, I didn't feel too lonely, as I was kept busy exchanging greetings with friends and neighbours throughout the afternoon. Also, I met another ECCG member Joe Keniry.

John Tait-11Joe had his own stand, and was busily demonstrating his inventions to an eager throng. Obviously Joe is a talented Engineer... “Not just a pretty face” as they say. I don't know if he had many buyers, but he made at least one new friend, in the shape of a gorgeous terrier pup, which would easily fit in your pocket... I think Joe was tempted! {;o)

Magda Klujewska and RJ Mani-26The place was packed, and there was lots to see and do. I had a fast trot around the cattle, sheep, dogs, hens, and a menagerie that would have warmed the cockles of Noah's heart. Noah's carpentry skills were not required however, as the weather stayed dry for the afternoon, and Arks were not in demand. Mind you, one hapless volunteer who was getting “dunked” on a regular basis in aid of charity, would probably have appreciated a nice dry boat.

John Tait-5As I was a “man with a mission”, I headed for the jumping arena to try and learn the photographer's art of “freezing motion”. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with “Tv”, “Av”, and “M”, and after many horrible blurry shots, I eventually managed to suspend horse and rider in reasonably sharp “suspended animation”. I repeated this success many times during the afternoon, and having convinced myself that I could now do it more or less at will, I headed for home and a nice “cuppa”.

A most satisfactory day..

- John Tait

Mouse over the image below to see and activate the slideshow controls and photographers' details. Photography by John Tait, R.J. Mani, Magda Klujewska, Bill Sisk and Susan Meaney. Enjoy!



Spike Island – 24/5/14

Kevin Day-10

ECCG members with Spike Island staff member, Finbarr Cole

Spike Island, one time monastic settlement, military barracks, prison and now visitor centre was our destination on 24/5/14.

Taking the boat from Kennedy pier in Cobh, the trip to Spike, which occupies the centre of lower Cork Harbour, only took about ten minutes and, following a health and safety briefing on arrival from staff member, Finbarr Cole, the island was ours to see.

We were accompanied on the trip by Mrs. Mary Curtin, who was reared on Spike and lived there until she was fourteen years old. Mary shared some memories with us of her happy childhood there and brought  a new dimension to the derelict houses scattered about the island.

John Tait-2

Entrance gate to Fort Mitchell - Kevin Day

The major attraction of the island is, of course, Fort Mitchell. Built originally by the Royal Navy to strengthen the harbour's defences, the foundation stone was laid on the 6th of June 1804 and it was completed in 1860. It's name then was Fort Westmoreland.

It consisted of six bastions connected by ramparts and surrounded by a dry moat. Within the fort were fixed gun positions, four barrack blocks, casemates (ie. shell proof barracks with vaulted roofs built against the ramparts), magazines, stores, a church and a hospital. The cannons were replaced by two six-inch guns in 1903 and these were mounted on No 3 Bastion.

The fort was handed over to the Irish State in 1938, was renamed Fort Mitchell and became an Irish military barracks before being used as a prison by the Department of Justice between 1985 and 2004. In July 2010, control of the island was handed over to Cork County Council which now operates it as a visitor centre.

Denis Barry-3

Panoramic view from Spike: Whitegate to the left, Roches Point to right of centre - Denis Barry

We weren't long on the island when we realised that the few hours we had to spend there would not be enough to fully explore the island and capture the history of the place so a return trip is a must. The panoramic views of Cork harbour from all around the island are worth the visit alone not to mind everything else it has to offer.

A big thanks to the ferry crew and the Spike Island staff for their time and help during our trip.

Get all the details of Spike Island here.


Denis Barry-12

Anne McKenna and Vego - Denis Barry

On our return to Kennedy pier, we met Anne McKenna who was 'puppy-walking' a beautiful eight-and-a-half month old Golden Retriever called 'Vego', for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. While Vego is possibly the friendliest dog in the world, he was a bit bashful about posing but acquiesced in the end!

Mouse over the image below to see and activate the slideshow and photographers' details. Photography by John Tait, Denis Barry, Kevin Day, Jim Curtin and Joe Keniry. Enjoy.



An Post Rás – Stage 6 – 23/5/14


Stage 6 of the An Post Rás, 2014, brought the 129 riders from Clonakilty in West Cork to Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, a distance of 167.9Km. The route entered East Cork through the Jack Lynch Tunnel and then travelled East on the N25, bypassing Midleton, and through Castlemartyr, Killeagh and Youghal before crossing the Blackwater into Co. Waterford and on to the finish in Carrick-on-Suir.

Magda Klujewska-5

Going through Lakeview Roundabout, Midleton - Magda Klujewska

'Ghost Riders' in Midleton by John Tait

'Ghost Riders' in Midleton - John Tait

ECCG members were out to try and capture a sense of the occasion with Magda Klujewska and John Tait at Lakeview, Midleton, Denis Barry at Castlemartyr and Finbarr O'Shea at the finish in Carrick-on-Suir. The day held dry in East Cork but the finish did experience some rain. High winds delayed the race by about twenty minutes but then the urgent arrival of a number of race cars followed by Garda, marshall and media motorcyclists heralded the approaching peloton. Showtime!

Blarney CC's Owen Mullowney beats the Rás into Castlemartyr - Denis Barry

Blarney CC's Owen Mullowney beats the Rás into Castlemartyr - Denis Barry

Two riders, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) and Markus Eibegger (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), had broken away from the pack and lead the race through East Cork. Eibegger went on to claim the stage later in the afternoon, crossing the line in just over four and a quarter hours.

Collecting the Spoils - Finbarr O'Shea

Collecting the Spoils - Finbarr O'Shea

After a year's planning, the 2014 An Post Rás had come and gone in a flash.

Mouse over the image below to see and activate the slideshow controls and photographers' details. Photography by Magda Klujewska, John Tait, Denis Barry and Finbarr O'Shea. Enjoy.

An Post Rás Stage 6
An Post Rás Stage 6 Video
An Post Rás Results
As it Happened - An Post Rás - Day 6


ECCG ‘Silhouette’ Competition – 20/5/14

Silhouette Results-10

photo: Finbarr O'Shea

Thirty one members attended the third internal competition of the year at the Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 20/5/14. The theme was 'Silhouette' which had members practically gasping for inspiration when it was first announced a couple of months back but as you can see in the slideshow below, interpretation was diverse among the twenty-three entries received.

Silhouette Results-12

Number crunching: Anthony OConnor and Denis Barry by Karen Fleming

Following two viewings of the projected images, scores were awarded, checked and entered into our new results program. 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each Grade and overall, were projected 'live' on-screen as the results were recorded which made for a fascinating spectacle as competitors in the top places changed and interchanged as the process developed.  There were some tight battles in some grades and it was great to see some of our newest members feature in the top three of Grade C.

With the final results computed and checked, the winners and runners up were declared and it was no surprise to anyone to see Karen Fleming make it a hat-trick of wins for the year in Grade A. The results were as follows:



Above photographs of the winners and runners up with Chairperson, Denis Barry, by Finbarr O'Shea and Mervyn Daly.

See all entries below. Mouse over the image to see and activate the slideshow control buttons and photographer's details. Well done to everyone who entered. Enjoy.




Steam Train at Muine Bheag and Kilkenny – 18/5/14

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland ran a train pulled by steam locomotive number 461 from Connolly Station, Dublin to McDonagh Station, Kilkenny on Sunday 18/5/14. At around 12midday the train passed over the viaduct over the River Barrow, just south of Muine Bheag (Bagenalstown), Co. Carlow where East Cork Camera Group member, James Brady captured the event in this video.

The run was part of the RPSI's 45th International railtour entitled 'Saint Canice Railtour' which runs from 17/5/14 - 19/5/14 and which we first heard about from Finbarr O'Neill during his talk to the Group on 15/4/14. Since the trip to Kilkenny would be the nearest the steam trains would get to Cork during this railtour, members of the Group resolved to try to capture the event in some form or other. We settled on the viaduct over the river Barrow at Muine Bheag as one place to shoot and also McDonagh station in Kilkenny where the train would stop for a couple of hours.

Following an early departure from the Midleton Park Hotel, we scoped out our location at the viaduct and breakfasted in Muine Bheag which was just beginning to awaken on this quiet Sunday morning. As well as providing the hearty start to the day, the eatery also provided coincidentally precise inspiration with its charming paintings of steam locomotives that had visited the town in past times.

Suitably bolstered on the double, we returned to the viaduct and set up the gear: one remote camera with wide angle lens set by the river bank, two hand-operated cameras and one video camera. Rain threatened and some drops did fall but thankfully we escaped the downpour that would arrive soon afterwards.

Fully set up, we awaited the arrival of the star of the show and right on cue, a whistle was heard in the distance along with the ever increasing rumble of an approaching train. Then, despite the advance warning, locomotive 461 pulling seven coaches seemed to appear out of nowhere and, accompanied by a crescendo of shutter clicks, crossed the viaduct and was gone with nothing but a whiff of burning coal left in the air. But for the absent 'clickity clack' sound, long since smothered by the development of continuous welded rail, this could have been a scene from 1922, the year that this enduring servant to Irish rail transport was built.

By the time we reached McDonagh station in Kilkenny, which is a cul-de-sac for rail traffic, the engine had already been uncoupled from its coaches, which were standing at platform 2, and was in the process of turning around at the Lavistown Loop Line outside the town in preparation for the return journey. Personnel from the RPSI and Irish Rail in hi-vis attire were busy preparing for the return of the locomotive to the station where routine maintenance would be carried out in a siding prior to departure. Despite the fact that each had their jobs to do, they made time to answer some rookie questions from enquiring photographers and, while ensuring all safety points were observed, were most accommodating in allowing us photograph the unfolding scene.

Volunteers all, the RPSI members are clearly and rightly enamoured of their locomotives and other rolling stock which have all been lovingly and painstakingly restored in their spare time. I suspect that only God knows the number of hours spent by the many people involved over the years, that has culminated in the trip covered in this post. Well done to all and thanks to everyone for your generosity to us during our short time with you in Kilkenny and Carlow. We hope to see you in Cork some time soon.

Please mouse over the image below to see and activate the slideshow controls. Enjoy.


All photos by James Brady and Denis Barry.