My Kildare Life interview: Photographer Daniel O'Neill

The man from Coolree talks about his life in Kildare

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah@leinsterleader.ie

My Kildare Life interview: Photographer Daniel O'Neill

Daniel O'Neill

Daniel is the son of Larry and Josephine, who have passed away, and he is the youngest of a family of four. He went to primary school in Prosperous, secondary school in Clane, and studied at both the Irish Management Institute and the College of Commerce, Rathmines. Daniel works full time in the HR area of a large multinational in County Kildare.

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?

Growing up in a country background gave me a great appreciation of nature. I inherited my love for nature from my late father Larry, who would take us on long, leisurely country walks on weekends. He would point out all the different plants, birds and animals. Great memories, too, of turf cutting when we would spend much of the summer holidays in the bog cutting and footing the turf. The picnics always tasted so much better in the bog. The curlew and lark could always be heard in the background.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?

Kildare’s best attribute is its rich equine heritage and facilities. The Curragh on our doorstep has world-class facilities with an incredible grandstand about to open soon. Naas and Punchestown racecourses are also on our doorstep. It’s very likely most of us have some contact with the horse industry. My earliest memory is taking lessons and partaking in show-jumping events at Iris Kellett’s in Kill. The St Stephen’s Day cross country chase was an event not to be missed. Definitely not for the faint-hearted!

I am a member of the Irish National Stud Racing Club and this is great way of getting involved in horse racing and has a great social aspect.

IDEAL DAY SPENT IN KILDARE?

On a day off from my busy day job (which doesn’t happen very often) I head out to the Curragh to get some photos of the horses and jockeys as they ride out to hopefully a nice backdrop of the sunrise. I think they have got used to seeing me now with the long camera lens pointed in their direction. This followed by breakfast at the National Stud and even more photos of the horses and foals there.

Springtime is a super time to visit there with the new born foals. A great afternoon can be spent at Abbeylands Farm Clane for some well-organised clay pigeon shooting and air-rifle shooting.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IN KILDARE?

Pat Keane’s famous pub and restaurant The Hanged Man’s Arch in Milltown.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY?

Up to 18 months ago I probably would not have known the first thing about a camera and it’s many settings. Slowly I managed to grasp the basics and build on them. Now I try and go on a few photography trips annually. This year I will head to Montenegro and Transylvania.

Initially I posted a few photos on Instagram and Facebook and the reaction was really good. I get great enjoyment from seeing peoples reaction to some of my photos.

I post regularly on Instagram. I can be found on Instagram at danieljoneill2019.

I also post frequently on ‘This is Kildare – A photographers v iew’ on Facebook.