Winners of the 43rd annual ‘Press Photographer of the Year Awards’ announced at virtual ceremony

by Gazette Reporter

Annual awards of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland takes place with virtual awards ceremony

HURLER ON THE MOON A view of the super moon near Croghan Hill, Co. Offaly.
Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho Photography

The 43rd annual ‘Press Photographer of the Year Awards’, the annual awards of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland, were announced on Friday 26th January during a specially directed live stream awards ceremony presented by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan alongside Crispin Rodwell, President of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland, which saw photographers from all four corners of the island of Ireland recognised for excellence in press photography.

GAME FOR DUCKS RFC Bangor’s Mike Weir after playing Tullamore RFC in the Energia All-Ireland League Division 2C in Tullamore. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho Photography

The ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2021 title was awarded toTullamore-native James Crombie of Inpho Photography, whose portfolio the judges cited asA marriage of superb features work, creative portrait work and solid sports photography.” James received two category awards – first prize in sports action for his sublime image ‘Foggy Semi-Final’ as fog descended during the All Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final between Mayo and Tipperary and second prize in sports non-action for his iconic image ‘He is Risen’ taken as a fan watches St. Brigid’s play Boyle in the Roscommon GAA Senior Football Championship Semi-Final over a graveyard wall.

SO NEAR, YET SO FAR Sean Foley, a client at Oaklodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co. Cork, is visited by his wife Betty during lockdown. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney / Provision

The awards, which were presented across ten categories, were opened with a special address by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. and featured appearances by a host of other well-known figures and stars including Lord David Puttnam, Professor Luke O’Neill, Jamie Heaslip, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Cunningham,  Zak Moradi,  Dr. Marian Keyes, Joseph O’Connor, Samantha Barry, Pat Shortt, Donie O’Sullivan and Samantha Power.

CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS? UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland, during iscussions on the British-Irish relationship in the context of Brexit. Photograph: Brian Lawless / Press Association

Covid-19, A Visual Record

To mark the profound and tragic events of the past year, shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland are forming a historic visual record of Ireland during the past unprecedented year. The collection, which will be shortlisted by the judging panel, will go on display online as well as being donated to the National Archives and National Library System. This stark collection of historic images will pay homage to those who have sadly lost their lives, those working tirelessly on the front line and all effected by the pandemic.

PEEK A BOO SANTA Santa pictured in the Bridge Diner with Ethan Ledden (6) and his father Derek Ledden . Photograph: Tom Honan / for The Irish Times

During her address, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. said; “Press photography allows the audience to witness history, sometimes as part of a fleeting moment, in a visual image that often informs us as much as a written narrative. Many of the remarkable photographs entered for this year’s awards, now in their 43rd year, are striking or heart-breaking while others are uplifting and inspiring. That is what photography at its best does; it can drive us one moment to silence and the next to laughter. The Covid Collection will be an important visual record of what will be a very notable and challenging time in our history. It is admirable that it will be curated and archived by the National Library of Ireland-one of the National Cultural Institutions under my remit-who will be the custodians of these records for generations to come.  I am honoured that the PPAI have offered to donate this unique collection covering the Covid-19 pandemic to be preserved as part of the visual history of the State”.

HE IS RISEN A fan watches from a graveyard as St. Brigid’s play Boyle behind closed doors in the Roscommon GAA Senior Football Championship semi-final. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho Photography

Speaking about the awards, Crispin Rodwell, President of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland, said; “Many congratulations to our colleague James Crombie on being named the ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2021 with his tremendous portfolio of images. Tonight’s awards have been very different to how they are usually marked, but we are delighted to share the awards with such a wide audience online. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the ceremony and really brought it alive. It has been an extraordinary past twelve months in the country’s history, during which the members of the PPAI have served their vital role in producing a visual record of the pandemic, which will be preserved in the nation’s archives”.

Press Photographers Association of Ireland, Photographer of the year James Crombie of Inpho. pictured with Miriam O’Callaghan, MC for the event, and Crispin Rodwell, President of the PPAI

Photo – Paul Sherwood

Judging for the awards was deliberated online this year  led by chair of the judging panel, former Irish Times picture editor, Frank Miller, alongside judges Eddie Keogh, international photographer and Edmond Terakopian, international photographer and multimedia category judges Philip Bromwell, Broadcaster and Michael Lee, former RTÉ cameraman.

HIGH FLIERS Husband and wife team Evelyn Zuniga and Guilherme Sepuveda of Duffy’s Circus perform their flying trapeze act in the big top. Photograph: Gerry Mooney / Independent News & Media

To view the winning and highly commended images, which form the Press Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ Exhibition please visit www.ppai.ie . Depending on government and HSE guidelines, the exhibition may go on tour to various libraries and venues around the country throughout the year.

#PPAIAWARDS     @PPAI_IRL       www.ppai.ie

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