The annual awards of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland took place in the Ballsbridge Hotel last Friday, the 15 th February 2019, with photographers from across the country in attendance. This year marks 41 years since the founding of The Press Photographers Association of Ireland.
The overall award of ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2019 was presented to Tom Honan. Tom, a freelance photographer from Dublin, started his career with Inpho Photography before moving on to work for a time with The Irish Mail on Sunday. Tom is no stranger to the PPAI Awards stage having received 9 awards to date in previous years. His winning portfolio this year features work commissioned by The Irish Times.
Awards were presented across nine categories; news, daily life & people, nature & the environment, politics, sports action, sports feature, portrait, art & entertainment and reportage, alongside a dedicated award for multimedia. The collection of images chronicles the year 2018 in Ireland covering all the highs and the lows including the many sporting events both at home and abroad, the momentous Papal Visit as well as the catastrophic weather events including the infamous ‘Beast from the East’.
The judging panel was chaired by former Picture Editor, The Irish Times, Dermot O’Shea, and included acclaimed Photographer and Photography Commentator, Eamonn McCabe and, Former Picture Editor, The Herald, Glasgow, Jim Connor. The multimedia award was judged by Michael Lee, RTÉ cameraman and Philip Bromwell, RTÉ News video and mobile journalist.
Commenting on the portfolio of the ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2019, Tom Honan, the judges said; With four category awards and a comprehensive and visually imaginative range, this person displayed their ability across the wide array of subjects essential to the art of press photography. The editing and presentation displayed the photographer’s commitment to the quality of the work, a true sign of professionalism. This collection stood out from the rest of the entries by a long way and proved the author to be a deserving winner of the overall title of PPAI ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2019.”
Crispin Rodwell, President, The Press Photographers Association of Ireland, said; “In an age of fake news and doctored images, the critical importance of good photojournalism has never been greater. Ireland's press photographers serve a crucial role in documenting the life of the country and putting in place the building blocks of our visual archive. As with every other year this collection will be archived for the benefit of future generations. Good photography never ages, but enriches a nation's history.”
The gala awards ceremony also saw the awarding of three honorary memberships of The Press Photographers Association of Ireland, for outstanding contribution to the association and press photography in Ireland - these went to; Liam Burke, Press 22, Tony O’Gorman, former photographer with the Irish Farmers Journal and freelance photographer, Ian Esptein.
The Press Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year 2019’ Exhibition, featuring 101 prints, will be available to view at The RDS Dublin from Friday, 22 nd February before it moves onto Dublin Airport and a number of other locations throughout the country.
Please visit ppai.ie for exhibition tour updates and to view the full collection of winning and highly commended images.
(Photo left to right) Actor and Special Guest, Liam Cunningham, Press Photographers Association of Ireland Photographer of the Year 2019, Tom Honan, MC, Miriam O’Callaghan and President of the PPAI, Crispin Rodwell.