True blue Gerry is King of the Hill as he is named Press Photographer of the Year
Gerry Mooney whose work has graced every section of the Sunday Independent for more than a decade was crowned the PPAI's Press Photographer of the Year on Friday on a big night of achievement for this newspaper as three of our travel writers were also honoured at a separate ceremony in Dublin.
Gerry won the Blue Riband of professional photography in Ireland for a rich portfolio that showcased his eclectic talent.
The words of the celebrated Spanish artist Joan Miro come to mind: "You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life."
Gerry, a passionate Dublin GAA fan originally from Killester in North Dublin, received the prestigious award from Arts Minister Heather Humphreys at the Press Photographer Association of Ireland (PPAI) awards. He was later joined on stage by his delighted wife Marita,
Gerry, whose work appears in the Irish Independent and all INM titles, also finished top in categories for Politics, Arts & Entertainment, and came second in Daily Life & People.
President of the PPAI Michael Chester said: "This award is testament to Gerry's outstanding skill as a press photographer and his keen eye for detail."
This year's judges included Dermot O'Shea, former picture editor of The Irish Times; Sophie Batterbury, picture editor of the i+ newspaper, Johnston Press; Tom Lawlor, international photographer and broadcaster; and RTE cameraman Michael Lee.
The judges said: "The broad range of strong images demonstrates Gerry's talent across the many disciplines."
Other INM photographers to receive awards last night were Steve Humphreys and Mark Condren, both of whom are previous recipients of the overall award. Two new awards were added to the competition this year - Multimedia, for best use of video, which was awarded to Bryan O'Brien, of The Irish Times and Best Black & White Image, which was presented to INM's Steve Humphreys.
The PPAI Press Photographer of the Year 2017 Exhibition will be on display in The Ballsbridge Hotel over the weekend, before moving to The Library, at the RDS, for two weeks. It will then tour selected venues nationwide. Visit www.ppai.ie.
To complete a night of celebration for Ireland's best-selling Sunday newspaper, three of our travel writers who contribute to our Living supplement were honoured at the Travel Extra Awards.
The Sun Holiday Award, sponsored by Sunway, was won by Madeleine Keane for a feature on Malta and Gozo.
Conor Haugh's feature on Myanmar won the Newcomer/Young Journalist Award, sponsored by Falcon Holidays.
Jamie Blake Knox won the Short Break Award, sponsored by the Malta Tourism Authority.