We Entertain Ourselves by Katie O'Neill in Balbriggan, County Dublin, Ireland

At first glance, one may assume this picture represents a broken area, vandalism, or loss, but for me this is the perfect way to describe the town where I am from and currently live, (Balbriggan, County Dublin, Ireland), an area full of natural beauty that’s a little rough around the edges. Balbriggan is a small coastal town typical of Dublin suburbs, with a large train station in the center, way too many houses and not enough shops.

Growing up here was amazing. I made tons of friends whom are still my dearest in the Loreto Convent I went to and was influenced by the many punk and metal bands that used to play in the local youth center, Cryptic, that is now sadly closed down. The town itself is pretty boring. There’s one good bar, not a lot in terms of entertainment – but this provides those who grow up in Balbriggan with a special gift, we know how to entertain ourselves.

This is why I chose this picture. I took this a few weeks ago whilst going for a walk around the place. I’ve just moved home from Chicago, before that, having lived in the city centre in Dublin. Now I’m back home and greeted with warm memories of me and my friends wasting our time, drinking, laughing, making great plans in places just like this. The town was our playground and though we didn’t have a lot to do we somehow had a lot of fun here. Balbriggan is overlooked by many, but if you’re ever in Dublin and want to visit a place that’s filled with secret areas of incredible beauty, such as secret streams, fields filled with gorgeous flora and fauna and many amazing photographic opportunities, Balbriggan is worth a day trip.

Name:Katie O'Neill

Place you live: Dublin, Ireland

Place your photo was taken: Balbriggan, County Dublin, in a field off the main road on its way into the town.

Occupation: Photographer

Preoccupation: Where’s my cat?

What is a perfect day in Dublin? Waking up early on a sunny day in mid May and going for a long walk or cycle on the sweet cycling road with view full of country side. Then, meeting with a few friends for lunch, catching up, and heading to the beach for a few beers and an impromptu barbecue. This area to me means friends, family, good memories and not taking life too seriously.

A perfect meal? My favourite restaurant in city of Dublin is Cafe Bliss on Wexford street. This place does incredible vegetarian chili and you can get a starter, main and tea all for only ten euro. Friendly service and a complete bargain. If I’m at home in Balbriggan, it’d have to be a panini and a coffee with my friends in Trax Cafe, where we have been causing trouble since we were in school. They’re usually all out of what you’ve been planning to order all day, but whatever you get instead will be delicious.

A little known fact? Balbriggan is home to a Racing Pigeon Club, marked RPC. My friends and I like to claim it stands for Raunchy Piercings Club, or Racy Porn Collective.