How the Gods see it: real Corker of a beautiful view
A new book of aerial photographs illustrates perfectly why Corkonians are so proud of their home county
I have to declare an interest. This is my place and I know it well. But other than a glimpse through the clouds on occasional flights in or out of the Cork Airport I had never properly seen it from on high before. That is, how the Gods see it, or - as any Corkonian worth his salt will tell you - how they had lovingly planned it.
Dennis Horgan, a specialist in aerial photography, knows his own place well too, so when he took to the skies to create his wonderful book of picture essays, he knew where to go and what to look for.
And he was spoilt for choice. From its wild Atlantic western coastline, untamed and winsome all at once, to the less dramatic but no less alluring, eastern seaboard, there is so much to see and to capture.
Then there's the city, of course. My home town.
Unlike most of the pastoral and coastal expanses, which time and history have altered so little, the city's streetscapes do change and have radically in the past few decades. Horgan has done a service in framing them in this particular moment in time.
The nostalgists amongst us will trace streets and lanes, pick out landmark buildings and perhaps be taken aback by how these aerial shots give the city a majesty and vibrancy that we rarely notice when we tramp its busy pavements and take shortcuts down its ancient alleys.
Words are superfluous really. Instead, in front of you is a small sample of what can be found in Cork: The View From Above.
From Kilcoe Castle and Garnish Island way out west to the captivating image of the proud old north channel of the River Lee, winding her familiar path through the city it divides, you get a small flavour of what this coffee table tome of 256 pages has to offer.
If you are from Cork, the opportunity to see the familiar from an unfamiliar vantage point should prove hard to resist.
To the rest of you, it offers a chance to perhaps understand, once and for all, why Cork people are so unfailingly and insufferably conceited about the place they call home.
Cork: The View From Above by Dennis Horgan, The Collins Press, €24.99
The Irish Independent is producing a limited edition selection of postcards based on various aerial images from Cork: The View From Above. Four postcards will be available each day with the newspaper from select newsagents in Cork city and county from next Monday, December 1 to Friday December 5, with 20 in total to collect across the five days.