New photography project challenging stereotype of 'typical' Paddy Irishman launched

By Sarah Finnan

March 16, 2021 at 10:04am


Calling all Paddys- this one's for you.

Filmmaker Ross O'Callaghan has put a call out for the Paddys of the world to step forward and be part of a new Paddy Irishman photography project. Launched just ahead of St Patrick's Day, the project aims to highlight the diversity of Irish men in modern Ireland - showing that there's no such thing as a 'typical' Paddy.

Hoping to capture what it's like to be both male and Irish in contemporary Ireland, O'Callaghan will photograph each participant with the resulting images to be shown at a fine art exhibition in New York next St Patrick's Day.

Already with several years of experience under his belt, O'Callaghan has filmed in over 100 different countries throughout his career - amassing many different awards along the way. Drawing inspiration for the project from his own experiences, Mr O'Callaghan said that he's lost count of the times he's been called Paddy over the years... something he thinks many Irish men will be able to relate to.

Speaking of the project, he said:

"This is a study of Irish men called Paddy from all walks of life through the medium of portrait photography.


"I want to tell the story of Ireland’s oldest and youngest Paddy; of Paddy the farmer, the celebrity, the binman, the Paddy from abroad who has settled in Ireland or who has an ethnic heritage and identity. I want Paddy the activist as well as Paddy in prison, the traveller, the diplomat, the local legend and – if we can find him – Paddy the Drag Queen.

"It could also be Paddy Irish Man who’s now Paddy Scotsman – someone born in Ireland who is now living abroad."

Several well-known Irish Paddys have signed up for the project so far - The Circle winner Paddy Smyth, filmmaker Paddy Breathnach and architect Paddy Bradley amongst them.

Delighted to be involved in the project, Paddy Smyth said that he loves Ross's vision for this project, later adding:

"I’m Paddy many things, and modern Ireland is diverse. The word Paddy and Irish men in general abroad have a certain stereotype… and it’s about time someone challenged that."


Emphasising the importance of ensuring that this is "about real men called Paddy, regular Paddys", each of the formal and stylised portraits will be accompanied by short interview pieces which aim to give an insight in the participant’s own worlds.

Interested in getting involved in the Paddy Irishman photography project? Anyone named Paddy, Pat, Patrick, Padraig, Padraic, or any other variant of the name Patrick is invited to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or by tagging @PaddyIrishManProject on Instagram.

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