Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland by Barry Thomas Hendrickson

Stone, Texture & Ancient History

Bring it on!

This photograph ties all of these elements — stone, texture and history — together.  These carved Romanesque arches are believed to be from the 12th century. Barry and I found them in Cormac’s Chapel, one of the older structures atop the Rock of Cashel. I just love how the black and white medium shows off the texture and composition. A common theme woven among our photos.


We were traveling from Dublin to Kinsale, when we saw this giant stone arising out of the Tipperary plains. Hard to miss and super cool was the Rock of Cashel (Caiseal Mumhan in Gaelic). This ancient site was a symbol of power for Kings who ruled over this region for over a thousand years. Many early Christians also were here, including the famous Saint Patrick.


If you are traveling across Ireland, do make a stop at Rock of Cashel. You won’t forget it! 


Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland (above)
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

Limited edition, fine art photos of this image available in 2 sizes in my on-line store. >


Another fine art photo taken at the Rock of Cashel: 

Kings of Cashel, Co Tipperary, Ireland

Kings of Cashel, Co Tipperary, Ireland

Kings of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
Printed by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

Limited edition, fine art photos are available in 3 sizes in my on-line store. >

St Benens Church Hendrickson Fine Art Photo

Desert in the Sea

It is an adventure to journey to the Aran Islands. These rugged islands are found in Western Ireland, in County Galway. Having heard stories of these islands, Barry and I couldn’t wait to visit. We took the ferry from Rossaveal to visit Inishmore, the largest of the three islands. We were prepared to leave our car behind. When exploring this island sprinkled with ancient stone sites, it is necessary to bike, hike or take a pony and trap.


Our trip on Inishmore was in October, often a cold and windy time of year. But we had lots of sun, glorious sun. Barry however, was frustrated by photographing in all of that super bright sun. It was reflecting off the limestone landscape was making for bright and over exposed shots. I remember a local Irish guide in a lilting accent saying, “You are the only person on this whole island, who is cursing the sun!”


We had stayed in Kilronan, near the port. One day we took to exploring the southern part by bicycle. We soon discovered St. Benen’s Church, sitting atop a limestone hill. It cuts a striking silhouette against the skyline.


Although I have to say, calling this building ‘church’ didn’t seem to fit, as it is really small — measuring about 7 x 11 feet in size. It is an intimate place, almost like your own personal chapel. These medieval walls are almost perfectly preserved and are built from large limestone blocks.


Just below the hill, you can see the remains of the Early Christian monastic village started by St. Enda. I find the history of early Christianity fascinating. How believers like St. Edna sought out these remote places — these “deserts in the sea” — to seek solitude, prayer and live an austere life. During three hundred years from about 500 to 800, Inishmore and the sister islands were a famous center for sanctity and learning. This place attracted believers from all parts of Ireland to study the science of the saints in this remote school of the West. 


This photograph brings me back to that remote and rugged landscape, and our adventure in that sacred and austere place.



St. Benen’s Church (Teampall Bheanáin) Shown Above
 Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography


Limited Edition Fine Art Photos of St. Benen’s Church are available in three sizes here. >



Traveling to Aran Islands?
 I’d recommend the hospitality of the Flaherty’s found at the Aran Islands Hotel. They also have a great map of the island Inishmore on their website.


"No Irish Need Apply" by Hendrickson Fine Art Photography 2019

No Irish Need Apply

How Soon We Forget

I usually like to spend a great amount of time working on an image before revealing it. However, I feel compelled by recent events to show the photograph here in its preliminary stage. Tacked to the wall of a pub is a sign, surrounded by currency from all parts of the world.  It states “Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply.”
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My ancestors were Irish immigrants. They faced this kind of discrimination here in the United States. This sign would have been directed at them. The shunning of immigrants is not a new issue. This has been going on a long time.
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The Irish Potato Famine sent over a million of Irish fleeing this small country. Many of those refugees were desperately poor and suffering from starvation. My own Irish ancestors came to America during the famine years to save themselves, to find a new life.
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During those years of heavy Irish immigration (1845 – 1852) there was strong anti-Irish sentiment and many negative Irish stereotypes prevailed. Those with Irish accents or Irish names, were barred from housing and employment opportunities. Signs like this one photographed by Barry were common.
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The United States is a nation of immigrants. How soon we forget. A generation or two will go by, and we will have figured out how to fit in. We have found some comfort and gained our own stability. So perhaps, we don’t recognize in those refugees today, our own ancestors. The needs, the hopes and the dreams are the same.
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I hope this image can help us remember the past and our own ancestors,  and in doing so, find ways to help new immigrants and refugees who seek asylum here, feel welcome.  
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A sign often found in my Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhood.

No Irish Need Apply

An image by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson from the photo archives of the late Barry Hendrickson.

Take a look at the No Irish Need Apply prints for sale here >

If this subject interests you, here is some more detailed articles: 

“When America despised the Irish, the 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis.” on >


This article gives a brief overview of the potato famine and Irish immigration. > 

“Why historians are fighting about “No Irish Need Apply” signs — and why it matters” >