March 17, 2016 10:00 AM EDT

Beyond the clichés of Irish culture—the Irish affair with booze; their feisty reputation; and a proud poetic legacy—exists a dynamic country in transition.

“This country has undergone cataclysmic changes,” Irish photographer Seamus Murphy tells TIME. “It’s not just pink-faced people in a two-dimensional world. A lot of money has come in and out, and a couple of generations of people are entering, but the comedy, magic and lawlessness that is Ireland persists.”

Seamus Murphy’s latest book, released in Europe ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 armed uprising against British rule, offers a more nuanced look at modern-day Ireland—from the busy streets of Dublin to the immigrant-filled suburbs, wilder western shores, and new and aging landmarks.

Murphy, who considers himself an outsider to his home country, recalls a “frustrating” coming of age in a country begat by revolutionaries. “With every book, film or piece of music I digested the world beckoned and the road lead elsewhere,” he wrote in book’s foreword. “I couldn’t wait to leave.”

At 22, he set his sight on America, before continuing on to the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The idea to photograph Ireland didn’t crystallize until 2012—on an eight-hour night trek through regime-held villages in Syria—when he remembered meeting Irish veterans. “I had traveled a lot, shooting pictures and listening to stories in other people’s countries. What about looking at my own country?” he wrote. “Now, over 30 years since leaving; an exile, escapee and outsider, I could try again.”

In 2014, Murphy began capturing images of Ireland. “I was looking for what often goes unnoticed and unrecorded, what moved and surprised me,” he explained. “Beyond all the revision, myths, politics and spin there should be some room left for dreams and wonder. After all, looking up at the stars on a clear night over County Roscommon can get a person thinking.”

Seamus Murphy is an Irish photographer who lives in London. He is the recipient of seven World Press Photo awards.

Michelle Molloy, who edited this photo essay, is a senior international photo editor at TIME.

Rachel Lowry is a writer and contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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