‘Tapestry of Light’ by Tina Claffey

The Living Bog has been both delighted and honoured to have played a small role in the creation of one of the finest books about bogs ever produced. ‘Tapestry of Light’ by renowned Birr, Co Offaly nature photographer Tina Claffey was released to widespread critical and commercial acclaim in October 2017, on Artisan House books. It is a stunning book, the ideal gift for anyone with more than a passing interest in the wonderful world of Irish nature and our native peatlands, which are among the world’s oldest near-natural eco-systems.

We met Tina early on in the Living Bog project. She is a vastly experienced nature photographer with an innate love for Ireland’s bogs, peatlands and wetlands. She grew up in Offaly, surrounded by bogs, but her journey to capture the bogs of Ireland in her unique style was helped greatly by a bog walk by legendary Offaly ecologist, geologist, botanist, author and broadcaster Dr John Feehan. For almost 10 years prior to this, Tina lived and worked in pristine wilderness areas in Botswana, and this experience awakened an appreciation of the natural world of her home country. Since her meeting with John, she started to publish her photography online and it was there where we encountered her first.

Since we got to know her, Tina has photographed many of Ireland’s most important raised bogs, including some of the Living Bog’s 12 project sites. Her beautiful images reveal the commonplace as something new and exotic.

Her unique perspective of the flora and fauna of the unspoilt raised bogs and wet woodlands of the Irish midlands are celebrated on every page of Tapestry of Light – Ireland’s bogs and wetlands as never seen before.

This 156 page, highly-illustrated and beautifully designed hard-back book shows bogs in a new light, and it would be a great gift for anyone who appreciates not just bogs but Irish nature and the environment.  The book will ensure that the reader will never view Irish boglands in quite the same way again.

Birr nature photographer Tina Claffey presented the first copy of her new book ‘Tapestry of Light’, which was part-funded by ‘The Living Bog’ and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys at the ‘Living Bog’ launch. She is pictured with Ronan Casey of ‘The Living Bog’. Pic: James Flynn APX

The Living Bog have been delighted to have worked with Tina, and she was at the official launch of The Living Bog in Clara on Friday, September 15 whereupon she presented the Minister for Heritage, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD with one of the first copies of the book. The now former Minister of the Department was most impressed with the book and wished Tina every success in the future.

A week later and Tina struck again, presenting no less a person than the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, with two special copies of the book at the National Ploughing Championships, held in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. The President was delighted to meet Tina and her son Tristan again. The last time they met, at the launch of the Community Wetlands Forum in Abbeyleix, they presented him with a beautiful framed photograph of a round-leaved sundew, which he told Tina at the Ploughing, now hangs proudly in the Áras.

Tina Claffey and her son Tristan presenting the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, with a copy of ‘Tapestry of Light’ at the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday, September 19. Pic: Ronan Casey


Tapestry of Light was officially launched in Dublin on October 12 2017 by Dr Matthijs Schouten. In case you were wondering about the title ‘Tapesty of Light’, well, it is taken from the eponymous poem by John Sheahan, the renowned musician and composer with the famous folk group, The Dubliners, and that great man was also at the launch. 

Tina Claffey and John Sheehan at the launch of ‘Tapestry of Light’ in Tailors Hall, Dublin, October 2017

The book includes a foreword by Dr. John Feehan and is published by bespoke publishers Artisan House in Connemara.

The Dublin launch was a well-attended event, and it saw ‘Tapestry of Light; pick up some very positive newspaper coverage, with The Irish Times, the Farmers Journal, and Irish Examiner in particular writing about the book. Later in the year, both the Times and Examiner would recommend the book in their ‘end of year’ lists.

Pictured at the ‘Tapestry of Light’ launch in October 2017 are John Feehan, who wrote the foreword, Vincent Murphy of Artisan House, Tina, Claffey, Matthijs Schouten of the Dutch Federation of Conservation of Irish Bogs who launched the book, Mary Ruddy of Artisan House, and John Sheahan whose poetry is infused throughout the book.


You can order the book online HERE and it is also available in all good book stores. 

To keep up to date with Tina and to see her excellent photography daily, she has a TWITTER page HERE and a FACEBOOK page HERE




RTÉ Radio 1, broadcast date: Sunday, 12 November 2017 

The Living Bog was the subject of a special report on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ programme – Ireland’s biggest nature show. Derek Mooney’s roving reporter, the legendary Eanna Ní Lamhna came to Clara Bog for the broadcast, and interviewed Ronan Casey of ‘The Living Bog’, Dr John Feehan and Tina Claffey.

You can listen back to the broadcast HERE

Ronan Casey of the Living Bog, Eanna Ni Lamhna of RTÉ, Tina Claffey and Dr John Feehan at Clara Bog SAC in November 2017.

Sample press coverage for ‘Tapestry of Light’:

The Irish Times 

Online feature HERE


Best Nature Books of the Year, by Michael Viney, HERE

Irish Examiner 

Feature on the book HERE


Farmers Journal

Feature on the book HERE (log-in may be required)


Clara Bog Visitor Centre Exhibition

In the run up to the launch, for most of September and October, some photographs from Tina’s ‘Elements’ exhibition were on display at the Clara Bog Nature Reserve Visitor Centre in Clara, Co Offaly. The exhibition has since moved. Check out Tina’s FACEBOOK page for more info on it, the book and for daily updates featuring wonderful bog photography.

Clara Bog Visitor Centre


The President and the Sundew

Flashback! To the launch of the Community Wetlands Forum in May 2017 when President Higgins was presented with his ‘Sundew Goddess’ print by Tina Claffey’s son Tristan. The Living Bog have been honoured to use this image in our promotional brochures, posters etc. The print given to the President at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel on May 25 now hangs in the Áras in Phoenix Park.



Raised Bog Life