FOR the last 40 years London-based photographer Richard Fitzgerald has travelled across Ireland taking pictures of the land and its people.
Influenced by a short poem by Patrick Kavanagh, his photos focus on countryside back roads and intimate moments between people in their dimly-lit cottages and farms.
Nuns, rosary-nights, confessions, coffins and currachs all feature alongside horse fairs and peat harvesting.
“My memories are steeped in Irish country life,” he said. “I worked on the land before leaving my homeland, I ploughed fields, milked cows by hand, made haycocks, planted potatoes, and took horses to the forge.
“But all too soon it was over and I joined the ranks of thousands of other Irish emigrants bound for a new life abroad.”
Scroll down to see six pictures of Ireland you're unlikely to have seen before...
Fitzgerald says he was thrown out of Ireland at the age of 14 after being wrongly accused of stealing a bottle of lemonade - he later made London his home and set up his own studio there.
The Waterford native, who regularly visits his home town of Tramore, has now brought together a collection of monochrome photographs he says “reveal the dark underbelly of Irish rural life”.
The book Dark Ireland: Images of a Lost World is, he says, a record of the unique aspects of Irish life that have almost disappeared.
Among Richard Fitzgerald’s previous books are Vanishing Ireland with Irish writer Edna O’Brien, and Ireland: The Parting Glass which recalls poignant childhood memories including his own.
His documentary The Brothers was also nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award.
Dark Ireland: Images of a Lost World is available in hardback from the Currach Press for £20.99...