The Snug Project pays homage to the cosy corners of Irish pubs

The charity calendar features photographs by Finn Richards taken of snugs across Ireland, making us yearn for normality, and highlighting the communal value of pubs.

30 November 2020

Leafing through the pages of The Snug Project and seeing the chipped wood panelling and worn leather of its pubs can’t help but stir nostalgia for normality. The calendar features 12 photographs by Finn Richards taken over ten years ago of pub snugs – the cosy corners and booths always nabbed first by visitors wanting to hole up for an evening with a few pints. It’s therefore rare and somewhat unnatural to see them empty, a sad reminder of all the missed evenings spent there, and an apt series to dedicate to the importance of pubs in small communities.

The calendar has been put together by Stills & Motion, an Irish studio co-founded by Richards with Simon Walsh, designed by Paul Guinan and creative directed by Ciana March. March says the project was “born from a desire to highlight the social vacuum that almost year-long forced pub closures have left in many Irish people’s lives, particularly those who rely on them for social interaction.” Proceeds are going to Alone, an organisation that strives to enable older people to age at home, safely and securely, for as long as they wish.

The photos depict beautifully ordinary spots inside pubs from Galway to Dingle, Cork to Kinsale, Dublin to Sligo, which Richards photographed as part of a commercial commission a decade ago. It saw him visit almost every county in Ireland, with the full series featuring over 100 snugs. This is the first time they are available to buy. “I’ve long been a fan of a good snug,” the photographer comments, “and being able to spend time slowly documenting them was such an interesting experience, and led to meaningful conversations about peoples’ favourite snugs. All of the snugs were photographed empty, which feels poignant right now as they’re all closed up. This feels like the perfect time to dust them off.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of charity Alone, says the Irish snug is “reflective of the sense of community embrace, conversation and sharing of stories we all long for at the moment,” and that this winter, “we must remember to check in on those around us who may be finding this loneliness all too familiar. This project is a visual reminder of the unique elements of storytelling and shared experiences the Irish culture embodies.”

You can buy The Snug Project calendar and a limited edition series of prints via the project’s website, until Christmas.

GalleryStills & Motion: The Snug Project, photographs by Finn Richards, calendar designed by Paul Guinan (Copyright © Stills & Motion, 2020)

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Stills & Motion: The Snug Project, photographs by Finn Richards, calendar designed by Paul Guinan (Copyright © Stills & Motion, 2020)

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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