Behind the lens: Reeling in the years with iconic photos

Kerry’s Paul Galvin and Mickey Harte embrace at the end of the All Ireland Senior Championship qualifier round 3 in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Kerry’s Paul Galvin and Mickey Harte embrace at the end of the All Ireland Senior Championship qualifier round 3 in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
An Taoiseach Charlie Haughey with (left) Terry Keane and her daughter Madaleine at the opening of Sheen Falls Kenmare in April 1991. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Pat Walsh in his late 70s from Tralee sits crying and praying at the repose of his brother Domnick aged 74. During their life time the brothers were inseparable and the best of friends
Ballybeggan Coursing 2004
A woman from Malawi kneels to say her daily prayers with her young family
With the silverwear, Jack O’Connor runs for cover from the rain with Sam at St Finian’s Bay. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
IRA firing party at Rath Cemetery Tralee. This began when the former editor of the Kerryman told John to cover the funeral of an IRA man who died in South Kerry and to watch out for the firing party at the grave side. There was no firing party due to detectives and gardaí present. John got a call later that night and was directed to the cemetery where the above took place

Stephen Fernane

Readers of The Kerryman newspaper over the years have enjoyed many interesting photographs depicting all aspects of life, from the weird and wonderful to the hilarious and tragic - not to mention the countless sporting moments.

Printed on these pages is a selection of our regular photographers’ favourite images and below we have the story behind exactly what they mean to each photographer.

Paul Galvin and Mickey Harte 2012, Michelle Cooper Galvin

I remember it was a very emotional day in Killarney the way Kerry players celebrated after their win against Tyrone. It also wasn't long after Mickey Harte's daughter had been killed. It's one of my favourite photos and Paul Galvin actually has it hanging on his wall in his house in Dublin.

After the match I just saw Paul approaching Mickey so I stepped up as close as I could which is when Paul just threw his arms around Mickey. The way I was standing you could make out Paul's tattoo of the Blessed Virgin on his arm. It looks as if the Virgin Mary is hugging Mickey Harte and it's an unusual photo in the sense you can't actually see any of the main subjects' faces in the photo.

Jack O'Connor 2006, Michelle Cooper Galvin

I recall a group of photographers down on the beach close to Jack's house one morning after Kerry won the All-Ireland. I was taking my photos when suddenly a huge gust and squally shower blew up and we were soaked.

Jack and I both started running and he was ahead of me when suddenly I saw the shine from the Sam Maguire which just seemed brighter in the dull and dark weather.

I stopped and took the photo. I don't think Jack was too pleased about it after but I just think it's a lovely shot of Sam and Jack together away from all the hustle and bustle of Croke Park on All-Ireland final day.

Charlie Haughey and Terry Keane 1991, Michelle Cooper Galvin

It was the opening of the Sheen Falls in Kenmare and all the guests were lined up in the foyer waiting to meet Charlie. Next thing I could see Terry Keane was in the line and the owner was making his way down along introducing Charlie - who hadn't seen her. I went further down waiting for the moment they made eye contact.

It was an ideal shot with the champagne in hand, all very casual, and Charlie didn't flinch of course. People at the time had their suspicions they were seeing each other and this picture was used after on the cover of Phoenix Magazine. I was told by Kerry Fianna Fail politicians at the time that Charlie would have it in for me taking such a photo, but he saw the humour in it.

Charlie was a gentleman and I still say he was the best Taoiseach we had. There was a lot said and written about Charlie in the years after his death, but there was also a lot of good that he did that was forgotten.

Feet 2010, Domnick Walsh

This was taken in Malawi in east Africa of a young woman who went out farming at first light and returned to feed her children before returning to her farm work again.

She did this every day and her feet tell her life story.

If you look closely you'll see tiny stones which are actually embedded in her feet. In the evening all the women go to a nearby river to what they call 'scratching rocks' where they scrape their feet on the rocks to clean them and remove a layer of skin.

She lived in one of the poorest parts of Malawi.

'All by Myself', 2009, Domnick Walsh

The man sitting down is my uncle Pat Walsh and the man in the coffin on the back left of the picture, surrounded by his family, is my father Domnick. It's a powerful image of Pat attending the wake of his brother and they were the best of friends all their lives.

We have a tradition in our family where we photograph each other when we come into the world and again when we leave it. I feel death should be celebrated in the same way as birth.

The IRA, 1970s, John Cleary

I remember the phone rang at around 10pm one night during winter and a voice said: 'There's a car outside waiting for you'. I was going on this errand whether I liked it or not and when I opened the door a man with his face covered with a hood was waiting for me.

We drove to Rath Cemetery and he never opened his mouth. I followed him through the cemetery to the Republican plot and I can remember hearing a group of teenagers hanging out in the nearby church ruins.

Suddenly, I heard the sound of people running and before me stood three men wearing balaclavas. They must have left off over 60 rounds of ammunition over the grave plot. It was thanks to the light of a nearby streetlight that I was able to focus on the men and take the photo.

Then they scattered, including the man who drove me. The group of teenagers also bolted from the church screaming as the noise from the gunfire was twice as loud in the still of the night. It obviously frightened the life out of them.

When I got home I developed the picture, put it in an envelope, and slipped it through the letterbox of The Kerryman newspaper's office in Rock Street.

Once the picture appeared in The Kerryman the detectives called up to question me asking what I knew of the men. I just said I couldn't see them. The picture was also the topic of a Dáil debate in the weeks after it was published.

Ballybeggan coursing 2004, Domnick Walsh

I won the Sports Photographer of the Year with this one which, as you can see, is controversial. It was a cold day sitting in the mud and a horse had run in front of me but I didn't stop taking pictures. When the horse passed I suddenly saw that the hare had run up the dog's back, onto to its head and flew into the air. The hare got away and later the picture was raised in the Dáil as part of the whole blood sports debate. I even got several death threats for allowing it to be published. It's the one picture that I refuse to sell as I don't want it to be either demoted or promoted.

Kerryman

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