PPAI Exhibition Launch – 09/09/2016


Presentation by East Cork Camera Group to PPAI Press Photographer of the Year 2016, Mark Condren. (l to r) John Tait, Mark Condren and Denis Barry

East Cork Camera Group is delighted to host the Press Photographers Association of Ireland Awards 2016 Exhibition at the Library, Main St, Midleton, the launch of which was held on Friday 9th September 2016.

In order to have the exhibition in the town centre for the annual Midleton Food and Drink Festival on Saturday 10th September, PPAI stalwarts, Robbie and Billy put in a superhuman effort in dismantling the exhibition at AIB, South Mall, Cork and erecting it again just a couple of hours later in Midleton all in time for the official launch at 7pm despite a wet Friday evening and its associated gridlock.

The launch was held in the library and was attended by Press Photographer of the Year 2016 and fourth time winner of the title, Mr. Mark Condren of the Irish Independent. A native of Castletownroche, Co. Cork, Mark cut his teeth as a photojournalist with The Avondhu and The Corkman newspapers before moving to the Sunday Tribune and then to the Irish Independent where he currently plies his trade covering news stories at home and abroad.

The event was well attended with all present very impressed by the high standard of work on show. Following some brief words by ECCG Chairman, Denis Barry and Chamber of Commerce President, Seamus Cunningham, Mark spoke of his work as a press photographer over 20 years in exciting and sometimes dangerous places, as far afield as Syria, Nigeria, Haiti, Gaza and the Middle East as well as at home. "The really big news stories of our time are rarely recalled by the written word", he said, "but we all remember the images". He instanced the destruction of the Twin Towers, the recovery of the body of three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, drowned in the Mediterranean, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Black Power Salute at the Olympic Games in 1968 as images that are ingrained in our memories courtesy of the news photographers of the day. He complimented the work of his colleagues on display in the exhibition and exhorted all present to study the images and think of the unique stories behind each one.

To commemorate winning the title and the exhibition's first time in Midleton, Mark was presented with a framed image from East Cork Camera Group's recent Cruise Liner / Lusitania Exhibition. Depicting the reenactment of the return to Cobh of the flotilla of small craft carrying casualties and debris from the site of the sinking of RMS Lusitania, the image was made by ECCG member, John Tait.

The exhibition runs at the Library, Midleton for two weeks and is well worth a visit. Thanks to Ann-Marie Kenneally and the staff of Midleton Library for having the exhibition and to Wallis's, Midleton and Day's of Whitegate for supplying refreshments for the launch Thanks also to Mrs. Ursula O'Tuama for providing the musical backdrop that was woven delicately throughout the evening's proceedings and, finally, thanks to Mark Condren and the PPAI for bringing the exhibition to Midleton and in time for the Food Festival's main event.

Click here to see a gallery of images from the launch night.
Click here for the PPAI website.