Grandad John has a passion for photography

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A RETIRED Dublin Bus mechanic, who now spends his days behind the camera indulging in his passion for photography, went to what he believed was a photography prize-giving event on Saturday – but instead was greeted by the sight of his family and friends and an exhibition of his photography.

John Dennan, who lives in Greenhills with his wife Valerie, went to the Maldron Hotel Newlands Cross on Saturday afternoon with his daughter, Grainne Cullen, who is a teacher in the Assumption Secondary School in Walkinstown, believing he was going to a photography prize-giving event featuring work by her pupils.

John Dennan 04 1

Grannie, Valerie, John, Valerie and Nadia

John has previously helped out with the school’s camera club and was expecting to see the work of budding photographers, but instead he was treated to a surprise party marking his 70th birthday, where his family and friends helped him celebrate the milestone, and showed their appreciation for his photography skills.

Grainne told The Echo: “My dad was delighted – he genuinely didn’t know that we’d organised a party for him.

“Everybody made a huge effort to be there.

“Photography has been one of his many hobbies over the years, he loves going into town or over to Tymon Park to take pictures.

“Photography is his outlet, and he has a good eye for things.”

Grainne got to work on whittling down over 4,000 photos that her dad had taken over the years to the 150 prints that ended up on display at his celebration, with many more being displayed on rotation by a projector during the event.

“My dad’s not into big parties,” explained Grainne, “but it was his birthday and we wanted to make the day all about him and his work.

“The atmosphere was brilliant – it was really lovely. It was a memorable experience for us as a family.”

Over 40 people, including John’s three daughters, three sons-in-law and his grandchildren, were at the event to mark the occasion, and his family and friends played music into the early hours, adding to the jovial atmosphere.

To see John’s photography, follow his Instagram account @dennanjohn.

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