Donal Moloney is a professional photographer based in Dublin. Much of his work involves photographing people. His work has been displayed throughout the world and has included campaigns for Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, Bank of Ireland and Vodafone, to name but a few.

He also spends much of his time working on his many personal projects and has exhibited on a number of occasions, most notably his widely acclaimed ‘Intruders’ exhibition.

He is currently documenting the lives of homeless individuals and the stories surrounding the decay in abandoned homes and buildings of those long forgotten around Ireland.

Below he writes about his photos under the title “Head to Tail In Dingle Surf & Turf,” a spectacular look at Dingle’s Sheep Market and the amazing characters, sights and sounds.


Some thirty years ago an unexpected visitor to Dingle Harbour became the pride of the peninsula. Fungi, the 500lb bottlenose [dolphin] still swims enthusiastically amid scenes made famous in "Ryan’s Daughter" and the writings of Peig Sayers and familiar to the South Pole explorer Tom Crean.

The town is awash with trinkets and keepsakes as local ‘boy racers’ observe the speed limits through the narrow streets. Chris De Burgh’s "Lady In Red" seeps through an open car window on a warm September Sunday. Brightly colored shop fronts and seafood restaurants offer a 'pick of plenty' while ice cream parlors tempt you to sit a while and ponder the harbor life.

Romantic Ireland is alive and well along the Wild Atlantic Way, but surely there must be something more gritty to satisfy one's eclectic tastes, something that does not appear in the guide book. The presence of numerous four-wheel-drive vehicles and men with ruddy complexions in wellington boots peaks the curiosity. Moments later I'm knee deep in organic matter at Mharglann An Daingin.

Once a year, battering Scotch rams with twisted horns and black and white faces butt heads as they await their moment of glory in the arena.

Read more: Photos explore the quiet beauty of Ireland’s abandoned psychiatric hospitals

“Best of show… best wool…1300 guineas…. 280 280 280…” bleats the MC. Young kids sit on dads' shoulders with matching hoodies and wellies, mini me; older children perch themselves on the dividing walls between the pens and the arena, afraid they might miss any of the action. Deals are being struck and coats are being fluffed by owners who have traveled from near and far. Rams are bought and sold. Next stop for them is their own field with 40 ewes to service over the winter months.

The mix of Gaeilgeoirs (native Irish-speakers) and the dialects among the crowd makes it hard at times for a blow-in to catch all the nuances, but there are more than enough willing experts on hand to translate the language of the trade into simple layman’s terms. I am delighted that I have taken time out of my trip to come and experience a day in their world.

Mums in Burberry scarves with baby bottles and carry tots sit ringside. Siblings sit side-by-side feasting on packets of potato chips. A social and personal dance of Irish sheep farmers and their families is quietly played out. But behind all this festive facade is a community of folks who work from dawn to dusk on the land before they even start into the admin of tagging and paperwork. Their warm, welcoming smiles hold no grudges against us Dubs, despite our win in Croke Park. The most common question of the day is, “Did you go to the match?”

Mharglann An Daingin. Dingle Sheep Market (Scotch Rams). from Donal Moloney on Vimeo.

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