IRISH Independent photographer Mark Condren has won the AIB Photojournalist of the Year award, for the third time in just four years.
The judges said Mark’s work stood out for its great composition and mastery, with a set of images “that were difficult to fault but easy to feel envious of”.
Mark, who scooped the Press Photographers Association of Ireland’s top award in 2010 and 2011 and came second last year, also took first prize in the reportage section of the competition, for his photo essay capturing the repatriation to Romania of the remains of murdered teenager Mariora Rostas.
And he was third in the news section, with a strong image of businessman Sean Quinn, with tears in his eyes at a support rally for him in Cavan.
Another Irish Independent staff photographer Steve Humphreys took first prize in the competitive politics section with Taoi-shock which the judges said was “a brilliantly spotted moment at what was probably a banal political photo-op”.
Steve has won several PPAI awards over the years, including the overall AIB photojournalist of the year prize in 2008.
Over 2,000 images were entered into this year’s competition, by 120 photojournalists from all around the country, across nine categories - news, daily life, sports action, sports portfolio, portrait, environment, politics, arts & entertainment and reportage.
In all, 12 images taken by Mark caught the eye of the judges, capturing comic moments such as little “angels” outside the live animal crib on Dawson St, Dublin at Christmas time, to the raw grief of Margaret Kershaw whose son Kevin was one of five fishermen downed off Union Hall in Cork.
Two other photographs by Steve won praise from the judges - his humourous shot of a young cowboy at the Horse Show at the RDS and his portrait of Reservoir Dogs Mr Blonde, aka Michael Madsen in dramatic pose between press interviews.
Michael Chester, President of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland congratulated Mark for taking the top prize for a third time. Describing him as an incredibly talented photojournalist, he said his “eye for detail, skill and impeccable timing all shine through in his work, which is a credit to photojournalism”.
The AIB Photojournalism Exhibition, featuring 125 selected prints, opens in AIB, Bankcentre Branch on Tuesday, February 2011.