Leader snapper recognised at photo awards ceremony

Paul Byrne being presented his award at the awards ceremony which was hosted by Depaul president and broadcasting legend Sir Trevor McDonald OBE.
Paul Byrne being presented his award at the awards ceremony which was hosted by Depaul president and broadcasting legend Sir Trevor McDonald OBE.

A Leader photographer’s skills have been recognised at the BT Press Photographer of the Year Awards.

Freelance photographer Paul Byrne claimed second place in the news category for his photo of Rev Stephen Hibbert and wife Valerie doing the ice bucket challenge at the finale to Gilford and Tullylish Presbyterian Churches fun night.

Speaking about his success Paul said: “I am delighted to get this award. I enjoyed taking the photo last year.”

Northern Ireland’s top photojournalists were recognised recently at the BT Press Photographer of the Year awards, which took place at a gala dinner in Belfast City Hal.

Organised by the Northern Ireland Press Photographers Association (NIPPA), and sponsored by BT, the competition attracted almost 400 entries from over 30 photographers across the country. Forty one prizes spanning nine categories, ten merit awards, one runner up and two overall winners were awarded.

The event not only recognised the very best in press photography in Northern Ireland, but it also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Northern Ireland Press Photographers’ Association.

On the night, an exhibition was on display showcasing 40 iconic images from the last 40 years of press photography in Northern Ireland.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Depaul president and broadcasting legend Sir Trevor McDonald OBE,raising money for Depaul, a cross-border charity that works with people who are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness.

Charles McQuillan, Getty Images/Pacemaker Press,snapped up the coveted BT Photographer of the Year award with William Cherry, Press Eye named runner up. The title of BT Provincial Photographer of the Year was awarded to John McVitty, Impartial Reporter, for the third year in a row. John was also crowned the Coca Cola Business / PR Photographer of the Year for his picture “Cleaning Up” which showed volunteers preparing for a ‘Friends of the Cancer Centre’ fundraising event.

“We were absolutely delighted with the quantity and calibre of pictures entered in this year’s competition,” said Bill Smyth, NIPPA Chairman. “There is an enormous pool of talent in Northern Ireland and we’re thrilled that through this competition their creativity, skill and passion for photography can be recognised.”

The competition comprised of nine categories: news, people, politics, sports action, sports feature, features, individual study, business/PR and picture stories. The overall winner awards were: Photographer of the Year, Runner up Photographer of the Year and Provincial Photographer of the Year. There were also ten merit awards, a BT Award and a special Youth in Sport Award.