HOMES LIE ABANDONED after their owners emigrated or passed away, personal possessions still strewn across tables and floors.
For these striking images, photographer David Creedon explored houses around Ireland which have simply been left to decay. Many still have pictures on the walls; in one, a suitcase has not even been unpacked. “In some cases, it looked like the last activity was the waking of the dead,” he says.
Creedon’s exhibition, Ghosts of the Faithful Departed, will open at Cork’s County Hall tomorrow. He told TheJournal.ie that the homes were mostly abandoned decades ago, as an after-effect of emigration.
What would happen was, the whole family would emigrate, and one young boy would stay behind to help with the farm and look after the parents. By the time the parents died, the boy was in his 40s or 50s, hadn’t married, and probably couldn’t afford to. Then when he died the title of the property would go to somebody in England or America.
He said the homes had remained completely untouched because they are technically owned by people who may be abroad, or may have passed away themselves. Taking the photographs was “very eerie”, he added.
You were treading on other people’s possessions. I could spend up to two hours in someone’s home, reading old letters from American and England. There was a story in each home.