An elderly lady, the keeper of the keys, well into her eighties, walks back to her cottage after kindly opening an old rural church in County Clare for me so I could take photographs.
I first visited Ireland in 1977 and visited again 31 years later. It was like chalk and cheese; never have I seen a country change so quickly. Much of the west of Ireland was in a world of its own in the 1970s. For example, I can remember spending an evening in a rural pub where my girlfriend and myself where the only non-locals. The two perfectly competent bar staff couldn't have been any older than fourteen. They told me they were brothers and their parents, who owned the pub, were down the road for a night out at another bar. They even turned people away because they were underage! When I asked if there was any food they told me sorry, we don't serve food, then reappeared five minutes later with a cheese sandwich which was "on the house if you have another Guinness."
Nowadays the pub is likely to be a bistro with a perfectly competent adult chef, or a wine bar with Porsches and Mercedes in the car park whose owners work at Google or Microsoft and haven't been to mass since childhood. I suspect the kind lady in this photograph wouldn't have been entirely comfortable with the newer Ireland.