Julien snaps up Photojournalist of the Year award

Mary Murphy

KILLARNEY press photographer Julien Behal stepped in front of the camera this week as he was named by Taoiseach Enda Kenny as the AIB Photojournalist of the Year 2014.

This is the second time that the Kerry man has claimed the top prize at the annual awards of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland, having previously won in 2012. He was presented with his prize at a gala ceremony in the RDS in Dublin on Friday evening.

The winning portfolio of pictures taken by Julien for Maxwell Photography as well as on assignment for the Press Association claimed first prize in the News, Portrait and Politics categories as well as second prize in both the Portrait and Reportage competitions. In their citation judges referred to the Killarney photographer's "incredible ability over the many disciplines and facets of press photography" and of the commitment to "quality and presentation" shown. They described it as a "collection of images to be very proud of".

Kerryman photographer Domnick Walsh was commended in News category for his picture "Supported on All Flanks" which features Munster players shouldering the coffin of 16-year old Donal Walsh at his funeral in Tralee last year.

Other Kerry winners at the AIB Photojournalism Awards 2014 included Killarney photographer Bryan O'Brien who took third place in the News category for his untitled image of Marie Heaney at the funeral of her husband Séamus and Cahersiveen native Stephen McCarthy who claimed third prize in the Sports Action category for his image of athletes taking part in the 60metres hurdles at the Senior Indoor Champtionships.

Michael MacSweeney from Tralee and now based in Cork won third prize in Reportage for his photos of an eviction, while Killarney photographer Don McMonagle was included in the Daily Life & People category for his picture of a bather floating in warm water outside the winter landscape of the Hotel Europe in Killarney.

Sports photographer Brendan Moran from Tralee was held up in the Sports Feature category for his photograph 'Bad Cop and Bad Bad Cop' of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane at their first match in charge of the team.