The Vanishing Ireland Project began in 2001 when writer Turtle Bunbury and photographer James Fennell began to extensively tour their Irish homeland in a bid to chronicle a world that seemed to be disappearing rapidly.
Both the Irish landscape and the Irish mindset have changed dramatically since the economic boom of the Celtic Tiger. Many stalwarts of generations past have become intensely vulnerable in the modern age the Catholic Church, the traditional pub, the rural post office, the family run shop, the cattle mart, the farmer.
In 2006, Fennell and Bunbury released the first volume of their Vanishing Ireland series to considerable acclaim in both Britain and Ireland. The book combined portrait photographs and short biographies of sixty Irish men and women over the age of 70. It was shortlisted for the Eason's Irish Published Book of the Year Award 2007 and continues to excite debate on Irish TV and radio.
In 2008, Fennell and Bunbury again toured Ireland, visiting some 700 traditional pubs to produce what many consider to be the second volume of the Vanishing Ireland series, namely The Irish Pub, which was published in October 2008.
Over the course of 2009, Fennel and Bunbury continued their successful collaboration, and a third volume, entitled Vanishing Ireland: Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World' was launched on October 14th 2009. The new book offers a poignant, sensitive and often punchy insight into the fading world of old Ireland, told through stories of Irish craftsmen, musicians, sportsmen, farmers, traders, nuns, gentry and centenarians.
It is hoped that the Vanishing Ireland Project will provide, through images and words, an intelligent and poignant record of a fascinating but endangered way of life that was once familiar to people of Irish origin all across this world.
Both volumes of 'Vanishing Ireland' are available from Amazon and all good bookshops nationwide.