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Interior photography with Tall Boy Designs

Interior photography session with Tall Boy Designs, 25th November 2016

Sara Moore Designer in re designed hallway
Sara Moore of Tall Boy Designs

I had the pleasure of shooting an amazing interior photography session in South County Dublin, with Sara Moore of Tall Boy Designs, on November 25th. I met Sara at one of Tall Boy Design’s recently finished bespoke renovation projects. Sara was very pleasant and welcoming and I was instantly impressed with the tidiness of the house’s exterior. We exchanged pleasantries and Sara led the way inside and I was instantly struck by the high-quality finish of the work throughout the house. This was a dream job for any interior photographer to walk into.

3 bed semi bespoke living room - Interior Photography
Bespoke 3 bed semi, Tall Boy Designs – Interior Photography

The ground floor consisted of a bright living area coated in a warm and soothing Ivory finish. The relaxing living area led directly onto an open plan kitchen/dining area finished with a cooler light blue that beautifully catches the morning sun. A high-quality natural hardwood floor sprawls the length of the ground floor. As Sara led me into each new room I became more and more impressed with Tall Boy Design’s high-quality work. These were exactly the kind of interior photographs I had been actively seeking out to add to my portfolio.

Armchair and Reading Light - Interior Photography
Armchair reading area – Tall Boy Designs – Interior Photography

 

Retro Radio and candles - Tall Boy Designs - Interior Photography
Interior Design by Sara Moore, the little details.

As an interior photographer, the quality of Tall Boy Design’s work, and how easy Sara Moore was to work with, blew me away. The bespoke design continued throughout the house. The first floor had three gorgeously elegant bedrooms, one master, one guest room, one converted into an office and a very simple and tidy bathroom. The soothing colour scheme also continued and added an air of unison and comfort to the building that made me not want to leave.

Bespoke Bathroom 3 b3d semi - interior photography
Tall Boy Interior Design, 3-bed semi bathroom, interior Photography
Master Bedroom, Tall Boy Interior Design, Interior Photography
Tall Boy Interior Design, 3-bed semi, master bedroom, interior Photography

I highly recommend Sara Moore and Tall Boy Designs for any of your building design and project management needs. Their work speaks volumes by itself and I was immensely grateful for the opportunity to take some amazing photos for interior design. Thank you, Tall Boy Designs for the opportunity to add to my interior photographer portfolio. Tall Boy Design can be contacted through their website http://tallboy.ie.

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Spring Festival Fair 2016 – CHQ Building IFSC

Spring Festival Fair – Chinese new Year

This year, Dublin City Spring Festival Fair was held in the CHQ Building in I.F.S.C. It is the celebration of  the Chinese New Year and this is the year of The Monkey. Customary to tradition many people wear red for the celebration as it is the colour of good luck and a symbol of happiness. In Chinese mythology there is a creature called a Nian. It comes out once a year around The New Year. It attacked villagers and preferred children and it is purportedly afraid of the colour red and loud noises. After the Nian attacked villagers, they decided that leaving food out, wearing red and throwing firecrackers would scare the Nian away. This is how the tradition started.

Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Jack & Donagh Troy meet The Lion Dance Nian.
Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Huyen Glynn with some freshly made candy
Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Tina Wang with Eason lin & Jessica Yao had their faces painted
Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Professor Liu of UCD Shaolin & Wu Shu during a martial arts exhibition

As part of the celebrations you might see a Chinese lion Dance which portrays the Nian. Red lanterns are also a part of the celebration. In the CHQ Building there were many displays of modern and ancient Chinese culture. Martial artists from UCD Shaolin and Wu Shu put on impressive demonstrations. People sat and learned how to play Chinese Chess. I met the money god and young people hanging wishes from the branches of a tree. There were dancers in traditional costumes, tea being served, face painting and sweets being made. I met the elegant ladies of The Chinese Cultural Academy in full costume display.

Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Cindy Guo & Cherry Yu in the Chinese Fashion Show
Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Liam Sweeney busy trying to attach his wish to a tree

There were foods on offer at the many stands around the building. The atmosphere was exciting. Every now and again the Lion Dance would pass by to a massive cheer. With the Lion came whistling and shouting and the crowd swarmed in on the action. There was great mix of cultures and I met so many beautiful and happy people at the celebration. Chinese New Year 2016, Spring Festival Fair at the CHQ building was simple fantastic. The Year Of The Monkey.

Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
On the lookout. 70 year old Colin Wan keeps himself fit with martial arts
Spring Festival Fair, event photographer, portrait photographer
Yunhe Chang prepares tea for people to sample

Full gallery from the day here

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Arbour Hill Boxing Club re-opening 2016

Irish President Michael D Higgins Attends Arbour Hill Boxing Club Re-Opening Event

Arbour Hill Boxing Club had been closed for renovations. It was re-opened on Friday 5th of February 2016 by President Michael D Higgins. In attendance were politicians, sponsors, champion Irish boxers, club members, family and friends. Triplets Michael, William and Martin Carruth were there. They met with the club’s triplet boxers David, Matthew and Dylan McDonagh. Boxers Mick Dowling, Noel Brennan, Eddie Tracey, Brendan McCarthy & Bernard Dunne were also in attendance.

Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
President Michael D Higgins with boxers Eddie Tracey, Michael Carruth, Bernard Dunne, Mick Dowling & Noel Brennan
Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
Triplets Michael, Martin & William Carruth with triplets David, Matthew & Dylan McDonagh

Arbour  Hill Boxing Club was established in 1929. It has now seen new separate male and female changing rooms built in the renovation.The Ceiling also got a new lick of paint. Brothers  Alan and John Keogh are sponsors and financial backers of the project. The club kept them out of trouble in the early days and they wanted to give something back in return. Finance was also secured through a state grant of €25,000 awarded via the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
President Higgins stops to watch exhibition boxing in the ring
Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
Stephen Kavanagh & Cal O’Driscol of Arbour Hill Boxing Club

President Michael D Higgins met with Club Officials, members and club sponsors. He took time to walk around the club and meet local people. The President took a moment and became a boxing spectator. The lights went down for two amateur exhibition boxing matches in the ring. David McDonald of Arbour Hill Boxing Club boxed Seán Doyle of Cherry Orchard  Boxing Club in the first bout. Rive McCormack of Arbour Hill Boxing Club boxed Carmen Maurodin of  Bay City Boxing Club in the second. President Higgins then addressed the crowd, opened proceedings and unveiled the club’s new wall plaque. Nathan Palmer made a presentation on behalf of the club to the president.

Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
Nathan Palmer makes a presentation to President Higgins on Bahalf of the Club
Arbour Hill Boxing Club, event photographer, portrait photographer
Boxers Eddie Tracey, MIck Dowling, Brendan McCarthy & Noel Brennan with Club president Brian Sutton & Des Phelan

FULL GALLERY OF PHOTOS AVAILABLE HERE

Club President Brian Sutton & Club chairman Des Phelan made a presentation to 1968 Olympic boxers Eddie Tracey, Mick Dowling & Brendan McCarthy.

The future of the club looks bright and I wish the very best to everyone involved and long may Arbour Hill Boxing Club prosper.

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Malahide’s Got Talent competition 2016 at The Grand Hotel

Malahide’s Got Talent 2016 hosted by Malahide Music and Dramatic Society

Malahide’s got talent 2016 was held in The Grand Hotel and played out in front of an excited crowd at the 4 star venue. Hosted by Malahide Music and Dramatic Society the competition was held for the sixth year running. On the evening, 24 talented and hopeful young artists took to the stage to show Malahide what they are made of.

Malahide's Got Talent, event photographer, portrait photographer
The Second Act Of the night

Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer

Malahide's Got Talent, event photographer, portrait photographer

Liliana-Rosca Pinheiro performing ‘Bang Bang’
Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer

2nd place runner up Ciara Smith singing ‘Stars’

The show was split in two acts which consisted of singers, dancers and musicians. There was a raffle and the crowd got their chance to vote for their favourite contestants. The final descision went to the four judges who also gave comments and words of support to the competitors. The evening was sponsored by Malahide Credit Union.

Malahide's Got Talent, event photographer, portrait photographer
Michael Dowling & Vivian Keavey from Malahide Credit Union who are the event Sponsors

Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer

Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer
Valerie Carwood of B Music School performing ‘All Again’

The final descision was an intense moment thanks to host Bobby McWilliams. In third place was Robert Duff with Sophie & Zara Crinion with their version of the song ‘Falling Slowly’ . In second place was Ciara Smith from B music school performing the song ‘Stars’. The over all winner was singer/songwriter Shauna Byrne who performed her original song ‘Stranger’.
All in all it was a fantastic production and the level of talent was astounding and i’m looking forward to next years competition already.

Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer
Tessa Hennessy singing ‘Riptide’
Malahide's Got Talent 2016 redhead, event photographer, portrait photographer
The band ‘redhead’ with an electric performance
Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer
Paige McMahon

To see the full gallery of photos from Malahide’s Got Talent 2016 at The Grand Hotel please click on the next photo

Malahide's Got Talent 2016, event photographer, portrait photographer
Shauna Byrne takes the top prize on Malahide’s Got Talent 2016 with a performance of her original song ‘STRANGER ‘
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Winter Solstice Festival,Smithfield, Dublin,2015

Winter Solstice Festival, Smithfield Square, December 21st 2015

We headed out for an evening filled with colour, rhythm, light & laughter. On to the Luas and across to Smithfield. Generator Hostel to be precise, for the celebrations of the Winter Solstice. In the bar of the hostel the Dublin Winter Solstice Festival 2015 was in full swing. Costumes, Sean Nos dancing, Face Painting, drinking, traditional music, Céilí, people made head dresses for themselves out of ivy and holly. There was storytelling and many rituals and traditions from the olden days were brought back to life. The atmosphere was amazing, there were people from all corners of the globe and it was truly refreshing to witness.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People meeting and having the craic over holly and ivy head dress making.
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Girls dressed up and glowing in the Generator Hostel in Smithfield ahead of the parade to celebrate the Winter Solstice 2015 in Smithfield.
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People of all nations come together in the Generator Hostel Bar for the festivities

Outside the drummers beat music and rhythm into our ears and into our hearts. Dancers encouraged the crowd to join them in a good boogie and they did. The drums beat louder and faster the crowd loved it and made themselves heard, it was fantastic.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Dancers get the crowd motivated outside The Generator Hostel

The proceedings moved to the spot where the ceremonial fire lighting was underway. A huge crowd circled the organisers and as the fire was lit the orange glow began to illuminate everyone around, smoke rose into the air and looking upwards into flags, banners, lanterns and smiling faces on parents shoulders all I could do was smile.

The procession began and was headed by two men blowing horns as they guided the fire bearers around the square. Ahead of all this was the multitudes of photographers and videographers both professional and amateur all trying to get their best footage and photos just like I was.

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
Men carrying the open flame around Smithfield Square
Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
The procession makes it’s way along Smithfield Square flanked by onlookers, cameramen and amateur paparazzi on their phones.

The Fire made it’s way back to the spot where it had all began and people were invited to step forward with their withy and toss them into the flames. Withy ware wishes written on cards and put on small sticks. It was a magical experience with the heartbeat of the drums in the dark, the ceremonial lighting of the fire, the lights, the costumes, the smiling faces all on a cold, dark and windy Winter Solstice Festival in Smithfield Square, Dublin in 2015. Bring on the light..

VISIT OUR EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY PAGE

Winter Solstice Festival, event photographer, portrait photographer
People approach the ceremonial fire to burn Withy they had created earlier in the evening
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Copper Face Jacks – Copper Face Jocks

Copper Face Jacks – Copper Face Jocks

Copper Face Jacks is a well known spot in the wonderful city of Dublin and recently I had the good fortune of photographing a PR event for the popular venue. They were promoting their Copper Face Jocks with a hashtag of the same name. I was to meet at Shelbourne Dog Racing Park on a cold, dark evening a young man named George Hardy. He was going to be the Irish equivalent of The Naked Cowboy in Times Square and run around Shelbourne Park as The Naked Farmer. Donned in a flat cap and wellies and sporting a gorgeous pair of Copper Face Jocks and an Acoustic guitar. George was a great sport and a fit young lad so he had no bones about running around almost naked. People joined him to get their photos taken and George even managed to get his photo holding The Sam Maguire cup. All in all it was great craic and a pleasure to shoot. Big thanks to all involved who had us along.

Copper Face Jocks -event-photographer-portrait photographer-pr photographer
Copper Face Jacks Naked Farmer with the feet up chilling in Shelbourne Park
Copper Face Jocks -event-photographer-portrait photographer-pr photographer
The Copper Face Jacks, Jocks. Copper Face Jocks
Copper Face Jocks -event-photographer-portrait photographer-pr photographer
George Hardy the Copper Face Jocks Naked Farmer with the FM104 ladies at Shelbourne Park
Copper Face Jocks -event-photographer-portrait photographer-pr photographer
There’s George the Copper Face Jacks Naked Farmer with Sam
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Abbey Theatre 2016 Waking The Nation Programme Launch

Abbey Theatre, Waking The Nation, 2016 Programme Launch

The Abbey Theatre launched their 2016 programme  WAKING THE NATION with a photo and press call. Actors performed a short clip from Oedipus currently running on stage at the theatre.

Also in attendance were:

Senator Fiach MacConghail – Director of the Abbey Theatre
Bryan McMahon – Chairman of the board of the Abbey Theatre
Tánaiste – Joan Bruton
Heather Humphries – Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Aodhán Ó’Riordáin – Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Actors including Ian Lloyd-Anderson, Geraldine Plunkett, Kate Stanley Brennan, Ger Kelly, Liam Heslin, Hilda Fay  and playwright  Philip McMahon were also in attendance.

Relatives of members of the theatre company who took part in the 1916 rising also took to the stage for photos with ministers and Actors.

Stephen Fleming Event photographer - Pr Photographer - Portrait Photographer - Senator Fiach MacConghail - Waking The Nation - Abbey Theatre
Senator Fiach MacConghail & Bridie Murphy at Abbey Theatre 2016 ‘Waking The Nation’ programme launch
Stephen Fleming Event photographer - Pr Photographer - Portrait Photographer - Ian Lloyd Anderson - Waking The Nation - Abbey Theatre
Actor Ian Lloyd Anderson
Stephen Fleming Event photographer - Pr Photographer - Portrait Photographer - Philip McMahon - Waking The Nation - Abbey Theatre
Phillip McMahon

Actor Ian Lloyd Anderson at the Abbey Theatre 2016 ‘Waking The Nation’ programme launch

Playwright Phillip McMahon at the Abbey Theatre 2016 ‘Waking The Nation’ programme launch

Stephen Fleming Event photographer - Pr Photographer - Portrait Photographer- Councillor Brid Smith - Waking The Nation - Abbey Theatre
Councillor Brid Smith with her mother Bridie Murphy in front of the plaque listing her father Barney Murphy who participated in the Rising of Easter Week 1916

 

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Climbing Mountains with Anthony Fleming who has MND/ALS

My Dad’s a hero. Climbing the 3rd highest irish mountain to raise MND Awareness and he has MND.

We were told just over two weeks ago that our Dad Anthony Fleming had just been diagnosed with MND/ALS. When I heard that news I wanted to punch holes in history and the wall so my girlfriend encouraged me enough to join her at the gym. I reluctantly tagged along and when I got there I almost drove the hand bike through the floor with anger, I was punching hard with each revolution, taking it out on the defenceless machine. However, It turns out that I had done the most extreme ten minutes exercise of my life and through that I had released all of the negative energy and I carried on with my routine.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming - Lugnaquilla
The man himself, Anthony Fleming ahead of his Lugnaquilla Climb

A few days later I went to stay with my Dad and we sculled a few bottles of non alcoholic beer and got drunk on each other’s company. We reminisced and watched movies. He told me that he wanted to climb Lug again and that he wanted to make it meaningful. He was going to hike up 925 metres and back down again to raise awareness of MND and raise money for MND research. He wanted to make a video and ask for donations while asking people to join him on the hike. He went on to do just that with the help of his lovely lady Linda.

At short notice we rounded up 27 friends and family members. Some were seasoned hikers and others were first timers throwing themselves in at the deep end. We had three generations of Mr. Fs. 59th Dublin Scouts, a mixed crew of Wicklow Civil Defence members, sisters, daughters, mothers, sons, brothers, fathers, friends and friends of friends. We were to hike from Glenmalure via Arts Lough and on to Lug, a hike Anthony had led us on many times as a scouts back in the day, a hike we all knew to be tough.

We met at 9am at the ford in Glenmalure on a beautiful sunny morning. Our Wicklow Civil Defence amigos kicked into gear and immediately took a decision on which route we should take. We moved our cars, geared up and It was nearly 9.30am by the time we set off across the bridge and up the hill.

We arrived at Arts Lough at 11.30am. Anthony had taken a few tumbles on the steeper and wetter inclines and so he was flanked by scouts and friends rotating assistance to him on the harder parts. This was not an easy climb for any of us let alone a man already suffering the effects of Motor Neurone Disease. We rested and enjoyed the view at Arts Lough while the sun shone down on us between passing clouds.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming Hiking- Lugnaquilla -Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
Anthony and his wife Linda at Arts Lough

We had another steep climb ahead before we hit the top of the hill above Arts Lough. Civil Defence members led the troop and we slowly etched our way upward. Anthony had spotters walking before him pointing out the best and easiest route for him to move forward. He had two and three helpers by his side the whole way up this incline, each supporting and guiding him as he climbed. Again this was done in rotation and again friends selflessly stepped in to give the legendary Mr.F a helping hand in achieving his goal.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming Hiking- Lugnaquilla - Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
Anthony on his ascent of Lugnaquilla with a little help

We reached the top of the hill at 13.30 and Anthony took a well deserved seat. He was very tired and his leg was hurting. We could see the top of Lug about an hours walk ahead basking in glorious sunshine and we hoped that it would stay like that for our arrival. I had never been on the Lugnaquilla summit in the sunshine with clear views, maybe this was going to be the day.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming Hiking- Lugnaquilla - Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
With a little help from a friend

Not feckin likely. Half way across the plains a big old cloud moved in on us and we were walking in a mist on Lugnaquilla once again. With the cloud came wind and with the wind came sideways rain. It was hard going and Anthony with pain in his leg, arm and back was already worn down and battered. Marshall Mc Eriane asked people to crowd around and walk in front of Anthony to block the weather and allow him to walk the final few hundred meters. That’s exactly what they did for him. It was powerful and at 14.20 he had reached the summit of Lugnaquilla Mountain at 925 metres in the lashing rain to a huge applause.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming - Lugnaquilla. Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
Anthony on Lugnaquilla Summit in the lashing rain 1 Month after MND Diagnosis
MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming- Lugnaquilla. Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
Gang of heroes and legends on Lugnaquilla Summit.

On the way back down Anthony was having severe trouble with his leg and back. He was hunched over and the pain was making him reconsider walking down. He had achieved his goal. We reached out and were given two pain killers and two paracetamol all overseen by paramedic Barry. On the plains Anthony was arm linked to and supported by someone at all times. When it was time to go back down the steep slopes he was again flanked by several people supporting and keeping him safe. He could not make it down some of the bigger steps and holes by himself so he was lifted and carried when needed. The lads rotated and swapped positions and a big effort got him back to the forest path where he could again walk unaided.

MND Ireland - Brave man- Anthony Fleming Hiking. Motor Neurone Disease. ALS
A determined Anthony Fleming On his Ascent of Lugnaquilla
MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming - Lugnaquilla
Anthony Is helped down from the summit by Fearghal Murphy

Anthony made it back to the car park at 18.37 to a hero’s cheer, cakes, a glass of Champagne and a million midges. He had completed his goal in 9 hours. Physically and emotionally tired it was time to go and get the man a well deserved Mojito.

MND Ireland - Lugnaquilla. Motor Neurone Disease. ALS. Anthony Fleming
Popping the Champagne after 9 hours hiking
MND Ireland. Motor Neurone Disease. ALS. Anthony Fleming
Emotional and exhausted. Lugnaquilla in 9 hours.

This was a team effort.
Members and ex members of Wicklow Civil Defence kept us safe and guided us on our way.
Friends and family helped support each other along the way.
Several of the lads never left my Dad’s side on his way up and on his way down the mountain.
Kate and Fearghal’s pharmacy supplied the medicine.
Beautiful Wicklow supplied the views.
Sandra fell more than my Dad but kept going with a smile on her face, well done girl.
Dennis guided us through the mist.
Marshall Mc Eriane was amazing and deserves a special mention. He was above and beyond looking after my Dad the whole day. He’s a true gent and a man with a plan.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being part of this, for your compassion, friendship and all your help.

It’s a great achievement by all.

I’m proud to be your son Anthony Fleming. You are my super hero and I love you.

My Dad Anthony has his own my charity page now and would love for you to spread the word that he is raising money for Research Motor Neurone Ireland. Thank you and please share the link. 

http://www.mycharity.ie/event/anthony-fleming-mnd

Click this photo for the full gallery with photos from Paul, Niall, Fearghal, John, Kate, Tiarnan and myself.

MND Ireland - Anthony Fleming Arts Lough - Motor Neurone Disease - ALS
Arts Lough
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Sam’s Steps

I read the Sam’s Steps press release ‘Sam’s Story So Far’ sent to me which documented little Sam Grant’s struggle since he was born 5 years ago. Due to a number of complications Sam’s parents Hilda and Dave were told by doctors that Sam would not make it to his first birthday. As I read the words and the harrowing news of what Sam and his family have endured over the past few years tears rolled down my cheeks.

David, Hilda, Jack, Hayley, Ava & Sam Grant Ready for their walk 72 1600

So on Saturday I ventured along to The Grasshopper Inn, Clonee to meet Sam, his wonderful family, their friends and supporters at a family day organised by Sam’s Steps Charity. Sam’s Steps was founded by family friend Elaine Swift and the event was organised in association with Crossbar Trust Charity. As part of the day there was a 50K cycle, 5K walk, bouncing castles, face painting, a BBQ, live music and a raffle.

Fighting Champions Sam Grant with Olympic Boxing legend Michael Carruth 72 1600

Olympic boxing champion Michael Carruth was there and he started the 5K walk with Sam and his family. Sam in his walking aid took the first few steps of the walk with his family and friends cheering and leading him on his way. I was amazed at his strength and eagerness to start walking. I was melted by his smile and delighted at his interest in my camera.

Sam is all excited to get started on the walk with His mam Hilda Grant & Leah Swift 72 1600

The whole idea of the day was to raise awareness and to raise money for Sam to continue his treatment at First Steps Therapy Clinic in Limerick where he is learning to walk. Sam’s mam Hilda told me that he is also learning sign language.

I’d like to say what a privilege it was to meet Sam and his amazing family in Clonee on Saturday.

I’d like to wish Sam a very happy 5th birthday this Monday 24th.

Full gallery of photos here

Please read ‘Sam’s Story So Far” taken from Sam’s Steps Facebook page. Thank you.

       Sam’s Story So Far 

If you didn’t know Sam Grant & you were to meet him for the first time – first of all a little bit of your heart would be stolen forever & second of all you would never guess the story of fierce battle that lies behind his big beautiful smile.

Sams battle started 24th August 2010 – the day he was born. Following a traumatic delivery Sam was resuscitated & moved straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. After some time Sam was discharged home to his loving family but cried constantly & failed to thrive, after 8 weeks at home with his mammy & daddy struggling to comfort him he was admitted to Temple Street Children’s Hospital. In October 2010 Sam was diagnosed with poor muscle tone, poor suck reflex & severe reflux. As a result of this condition he had dangerously aspirated milk into his lungs & much to his families distress was placed on oxygen & could only be tube fed. Sam continued to be unwell & many worrying trips to Temple Street ensued.

On the run up to his first Christmas Sam became seriously sick & was admitted. Aunty Denise & the family rallied around even arranged for Santa to make a special stop Temple Street for our little Sam but on Stephen’s Day Sam deteriorated & the doctors feared he had contracted the deadly Swine Flu – Sam was rushed to ICU & placed on life support for 17 heartbreaking days. Thankfully Sam bravely fought to stay with us but faith dealt another blow when during his recovery doctors discovered Sam had potentially life threatening encephalitis.

In February after weeks of poking, prodding & reams of tests Mammy & Daddy where called to the Neurologists office – while the world continued to spin on its axis Hilda & Dave Grants lives came crashing to a stand still – they were told their baby boy Sam would never walk, talk, was cortically blind & had only a few months to live. As far as the professionals where concerned Sam could not & would not see his 1st Birthday.

What could they possibly do – the only thing they wanted to do was to bring Sam home to his family & love him as long as they could. In this instance you would imagine it was a straight forward move but the medical support & resources you would expect to be a given just weren’t there & the HSE struggled for two months to arrange a Home Care team for Sam. Sam finally came home in June 2011 with a heaven sent 24 Hour Palliative Care Team in tow & with the much appreciated support of the Jack & Jill Foundation.

Sam was a seriously ill baby & despite having nurses at home Sam continued to have to make emergency dashes to Temple Street. Sam began to have apnoeic episodes where he would stop breathing – there where many times we thought is it today – is Sam leaving us today??? Our Sam decided he had too much to do, there is just too many lives to light up – Sam was sent to the Grant /McAuley family for a reason – Sam was made of tougher stuff.

After many more tests Sam along with all his other illnesses was further diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea & more medical equipment was required at their home. Day to day life for this family has been as tough as it gets – with Oxygen Machines, CPAP machines, Apnoea Monitors & Feeding equipment there was always some machine worryingly beeping, always a nurse /doctor at the door- never a day or minute when or where they could forget the doctors bleak prognosis.

Days, weeks, months became a blur & yet it seemed August 2011 was approaching? Sam made it to his 1st Birthday & albeit he spent it in Temple Street – what a celebration it was! Even the news Sam had developed Epilepsy could not dampen Hilda & Dave’s new found optimism – Sam had made it to one years of age – could the doctors have got it wrong?? Maybe just loving the bones of him & believing in him will pull him through – loving Sam Grant is easy it was certainly worth a try! As long as Sam had it in him to fight we would fight.

It hasn’t been easy, there have been many set backs along the way but could we dare to believe that Sam was getting stronger? If we stopped to think about it, was Sam’s hospital admissions becoming less? Was there hope or should we tempt faith to even dream? The Grant family continued to live life day by day.

After many more ups & downs at 18 months old Sam was weaned off his feeding tube & was managing through the day without the support of his oxygen machine. By Sam’s 2nd Birthday the 24 Hour Palliative Care Team were withdrawn from the home. To this day Sam continues to defy the odds.

Sam is now 4 years old, sure enough with the love & support of his super Mammy, Daddy, Sisters, Brother, his Aunty Dee & a strong circle of family & friends, despite every hurdle he has faced Sam continues to amaze all around him. Today Sam attends both Child Vision Pre-School for visually impaired children & Oakridge Pre-School for children with intellectual disabilities – he is the life & soul of the party at both – when he’s not wrapping the teachers around his little finger they work very hard stimulating & setting new challenges for him to conquer.

While Sam regularly attends physiotherapy through Temple Street Hospital sadly the department is seriously under-funded, under staffed & under equipped. The waiting lists for equipment & aids that Sam urgently needs are lengthy to say the least.

Through talking to other families with children with similar challenges Sam’s mammy Hilda came to learn of a clinic in Limerick that specialises & pioneers in neuro-rehabilitation. Hilda decided she had to give Sam every opportunity she could to reach his full potential – after a private fee paying consultation at First Steps Therapy Centre the specialist is confident that with intensive therapy there is hope that Sam might just walk.

At the families own expense Sam started Therapy in August of this year. With the extended family looking after Hilda & Dave’s other 3 children, Hilda has been travelling up & down to Limerick every other weekend with Sam for treatment. Even in a number of weeks the difference in Sam’s muscle strength is amazing, he is gaining confidence & Sam has gone from sitting to pulling himself up to stand. With this huge development the Therapist is recommending Sam attends more intensive programmes. Often the best treatments are the most expensive & more therapy sessions means more fees to the specialist & more overnight trips to Limerick – because of the HSE waiting lists for equipment & aids that Sam needs the family have had to purchase these themselves & sadly funds are dwindling & the family have exhausted every financial avenue open to them.

There are lots of things that can be done to make Sam’s life better but for now our aim is to give Sam the chance to try to walk – if Sam has it in him to keep fighting then we at Sam’s Steps are going to do our best to provide that opportunity.

Can you help Sam take his first steps?

Sam’s Steps Facebook Page

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VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2015

On a cold and rainy day in Dublin City an event unfolded which is recognised as one of the largest all female events in the world. Well done Ireland for this and well done to all the ladies who took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2015. The atmosphere was amazing and as a photographer there was so much to see and so many people to meet.

VHI Womens Mini Marathon 2015-man dressed as woman Cool couple Carmel and Craig Lucas together at the finishing line

I met cheeky chaps, eager husbands, couples, friends, children supporting their mams and running groups, it was great and fair play to all who kept their spirits high while being soaked to the bone. Many ran for charities around the country. Dubliner Maria Mc Cambridge finished in First place at 34.03 closely followed by Ann-Marie Mc Glynn from Tyrone who finished in 34.42 and in third place was Catherina Mc Kiernan from Cavan in at 34.46. Simply amazing.
I think that’s enough out of me, here’s a few photos to prove I was actually there.

And they're off-The start of the 2015 Mini Marathon And they’re off-The start of the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2015

The happy Pink ladies Running Club at the finish line The happy Pink ladies Running Club at the finish line

VVHI Women's Marathon 2015-Girl blows a kiss Martha Lejk from Poland blows a kiss. Martha ran for Temple st Children’s Hospital

VHI Women's Mini Marathon 2015-Lady in Wheelchair with dog Maggie Lucey on her 7th mini marathon with her dog Pippa supporting The Irish Blue Cross

VHI Women's Mini Marathon 2015-Man in A Dress Dan Stokes as Dani Tella Borracha

VHI Women's MINI Marathon 2015 Ladies taking part in the 2015 VHI Mini Marathon in Dublin

VhI Ladies Mini Marathon 2015- Louise Hayes, Niamh Regan, Trudy Deverux, Majella Keogh & Marie O’Neill from Waterford

VHI Women's Mini Marathon 20145-Maria McCambridge Dubliner Maria McCambridge Coming in to Victory at 34.03

VHI Women's Mini Marathon 2015-2nd place Anne-Maria Mc Glynn Ann-Marie Mc Glynn comes in second place at 34:42

VHI Wonem's Mini Marathon 2015 winner Maria mcCambridge Dubliner Maria McCambridge crossing the line at 34.03