People of Ballydehob Photography Exhibition on the Wild Atlantic Way –
I would like to thank all the wonderful people of Ballydehob for their incredible help, warmth and kindness during my time in the village, especially Joe O’Leary from Levis’ Bar and Colm Rooney who made it all happen, they organised the people taking part in the photo’s shoots, supplied a venue and helped mount the photographs all around the village, nothing was a problem to them.
Ballydehob is a remarkable place, a multicultural melting pot of creative activity and is home to artists, poets, writers, musicans, sculptors and craftworkers. The local community encourages people to persue and develop their creative and artistic talents. As I was taking the photographs and talking to people I discovered that most people were multi talented, it isn’t just good enough to be good at one thing in Ballydehob, for example, take Dolcie who is the pastry chef in Budds Restaurant, she is also an amazingly gifted fiddle player and decorative plasterer.
With the influx of artistic people in the 70’s, Ballydehob became known as the ‘San Francisco of the Mizen’. Ballydehob is an insprition to all and is a template for how a multicultural community can live in harmony, with sympathy and compassion for each others needs.
The photo above is of Michael John Watkins who took part in the exhibition.
He sits outside Budds Restaurant every morning and has the coolest collection of hats in West Cork.
The photographs are now all around the village in shop windows, on walls and the gable end of buildings. The official opening will be in a couple of weeks.
Michael John Watkins – Ballydehob, West Cork.
‘I have sunshine in my heart and I never, ever, ever get upset about anything. I’m happy every single day and everybody else should be the same, and we should all hug each other and talk to each other. This I have learnt from a lifetime of experience’.