Actor Stephen Rea, who features in the book, will officially launch it in Dublin on Thursday.

Nenagh photographer’s new book

One of the most respected and established actors to emerge from Ireland, Stephen Rea, spent years performing on screen and on stage, before impressing with an Oscar-nominated performance in the ‘The Crying Game’ (1992). Directed by long-time collaborator, Neil Jordan, ‘The Crying Game’ introduced him to a wider, international audience while also reaffirming to fellow countrymen his status as an actor of considerable depth.

This quizzical study of the Belfast-born actor, by photographer Pádraig O Flannabhra, may be in response to the juxtaposition of an image placed in the opposite page of the photographer's new photographic book, which the actor is set to launch this Thursday, May 25.

Éire Dubh & Ban/Ireland Black & White is the title of this new collection from the photographer, and just as the title suggests, all of the images - over 144 pages - are entirely in black and white. It is Ó Flannabhra's ninth book, printed in Ireland and beautifully finished in hardback, with an introduction by Dr Kevin Whelan, one of Ireland's best known and widely published scholars, who poses the question: “Did you live back in the black and white days?” In Ireland Black & White, Pádraig the photographer once again presents readers of the visual image, with a new vision of people, places and events in Ireland today, with imagery from the years 1996-2023.

The arts are well catered for, including some of our best writers, painters, poets and musicians all featured, alongside some historical events such as last year's Centenary Commemoration at Béal na Bláth in West Cork. The book and its profits are in support of Crois Dhearg na hÉireann/Irish Red Cross and in her letter of acknowledgment, philanthropy executive, Irish Red Cross, Mackenzie Ellwood states: “Irish Red Cross would like to extend acknowledgment for this generous commitment of support. We wish to thank readers and Mr Ó Flannabhra for supporting the Irish Red Cross and its services in their purchase of this book.”

Pádraig goes on to say: “I am delighted to make this new collection of diverse images and themes available for a charity whose workers and volunteers very often find themselves at the very frontline of a global human network, helping those facing conflict and disaster. An opportunity where art meets charity, as one of my friends has put it.”

The book, Éire Dubh & Ban/Ireland Black & White, will be launched this Thursday at O'Connell House, 58 Merrion Square, Dublin, from 6-7.30pm, where signed limited and standard editions will be available.

Refreshments will be served at Thursday’s launch event. All are welcome.