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I love nothing more than driving the back roads of Ireland, so, on a trip back from Limerick recently, we decided to go ‘off-map’, ending up in the picturesque village of Dromcolliher, Co. Limerick. While preparing the image above, that wonderful Peter Bogdanovich film, The Last Picture Show, sprang to mind for some incomprehensible reason, as I had not seen it since the ’70s.

Perhaps it is the kind of quiet, slightly down-at-heel air of the place, with the whole village at Mass on a Sunday morning, which reminded me of the film. If Ireland were not so wet, you could readily imagine tumbleweed drifting listlessly down sun-baked streets. Dream on.

However, in one of those strange serendipities, my son-out-law Michael, who is from nearby Freemount, reminded me of a terrible tragedy in 1926, in which forty-eight people died when a barn being used as a temporary cinema caught fire. While long before my time, I have heard that story, so perhaps that memory was somewhere at the back of my mind.

This was the only petrol pump at this garage; why it is mysteriously numbered ‘4’ is a question for another day.

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