The Fifth Province is a study of contemporary Ireland through the eyes of the returned emigrant. This set of images is intertwined between Ireland’s nationalist past, it’s European future and it’s American imagination.

Ireland is made up of four provinces; the fifth is where the Irish diaspora resides.

Tourist photographs a ‘pony kid’ at Smithfield market, Dublin

Housing estate, Durrow, County Laois

Tourists kissing the Blarney Stone, County Cork

Ireland has a history of emigration dating back to the 1800s, when the population was eight million, through to the 1950s when thousands left for Britain.

With 70 million people of Irish descent throughout the world the notion of ‘home’ is invested with complex emotions and mixed identities. There is a big difference between the myth and the reality of ‘home’ for many exiles whose memories have been altered over time and distorted their view until it becomes an idealised place.

Some exiles have a sentimental view, which has been created by the movies they have watched or the songs they have heard or by the tourist industry itself.

Flowers left on Michael Collins’ grave on Easter Sunday, Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin

Pilgrims ascending Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

The town drunk ‘Paddy’ and his wife ‘Mary’ in a depiction of 19th century Ireland, Ulster American Folk Park, County Tyrone

Piper from New York in a bar, Dublin

Wolfe Tone commemorations, Bodenstown, County Kildare

Ladies Day, RDS, Dublin

New housing estate, Ratoath, County Meath

Looking back to the port of Dun Laoghaire, Irish Sea

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