In the past year the IPF has been very busy organising the annual
Last October saw the annual Audio Visual Championships taking place in Clondalkin. Our thinks to Lilian and her colleagues for their continued
The National Shield event was a huge success again in Ballyfermot.
Our thanks to Darragh and Rose for their continued efforts and we look forward to the next National Shield in Malahide next November.
The Print and Projected finals continue to be refined, thanks to the ongoing input from Michael O’Sullivan. In his enforced absence last February, his colleagues from Cork Camera Group, especially Niamh Whitty turned in a sterling performance in Athlone.
For the first time this year Kilkenny Photographic Society hosted a national IPF event in the form of the National Nature Finals. I wish to express our gratitude to Dave Barry and his club mates in Kilkenny for their major input here. However, for both these events the attendance was disappointingly small. Therefore the IPF has decided to combine both the Nature and Print and Projected Finals over the same weekend in late February next year in Kilkenny. This should make for a highly attractive double bill event.
Last year saw the introduction of the travelling 3rd distinction session for September. This proved a great success at Limerick’s Millennium Theatre. This coming September the event will be staged at Waterford Institute of Technology. I am impressed by the support and good will from the host club, Waterford CC in recent weeks, as I was with
Ennis CC last year.
Our panel of assessors are now the best qualified we’ve had, with four assessors holding both the FIPF and FRPS. The panel of assessors continues to expand and assessor performance is under continuous scrutiny.
Being mindful of the critical value of feedback, our report sheets have been further refined in order to assist unsuccessful distinction candidates.
The assessment process is transparent and conducted in public for all to see, which is not the case in the RPS where fellowship assessments are conducted in camera.
The annual Yearbook has been a unique and valuable record of the very best of Irish photography over the years. Thanks to the sterling work of Sean Casey, significant Arts Council funding was obtained which helped to make this annual publication a financially viable venture until 2011.
In our financially straightened times, the yearbook has unfortunately become a significant loss maker and a serious drain on IPF finances.
Council has established a working group to address this challenge urgently and will be reporting to council at it’s upcoming June meeting.
Reorganisation of Midland/West
I’m sure you’re aware of the continuing absence of active club participation from clubs west of the Shannon and from the North West, with the exception of Mayo. This is a wilderness area for the IPF. Historically, this region was joined in with the Midland and comprised of clubs from Portlaoise to Buncrana – an administratively ungovernable area.
With the blessing of council, Bob Morrison and I are in the process of establishing a new North West region to cater for the needs of clubs from Sligo northwards, which will include IPF affiliated clubs from the north and cross border clubs too. I intend visiting the north west later in the year in order establish a much needed region here.
Creative Imaging and Rainbow are already newly affiliated clubs. It would be wonderful to see active participation in IPF activity from this direction in the coming years.
The New Constitution
The process of drafting a new and much needed constitution answering to the needs of the 21st century is a long, slow and tedious process, with much drafting, redrafting and repeated discussion. It’s an ideal activity for a wet Sunday afternoon! Nonetheless this
document is fundamental to the protection of our welfare and future administration of photographic activity within the wider IPF community from Council to Club. I am heading up a working group of thee members of council, but we would welcome contribution from affiliated clubs.
After all this is going to be your constitution into the future.
Challenging issues to be addressed in this constitution will include Child Protection and Data Protection, both of which will need to be included by law.
In order to make all our activities work well, we need an ongoing team spirit in which cooperation, consideration, compromise, and mutual respect washed down with a liberal draught of goodwill, are the essential ingredients to our continued success. For these underpin the very core of Volunteerism, the very volunteerism which is now upholding our national spirit this country afloat in a society which finds itself so adrift
and unsure of its future.
Council members, representing you at the very core of this volunteerism, are deeply grateful to those of you who have given us so much support and encouragement is recent times, especially in the light of some very negative, ill informed and bullying comments in the electronic media.
There is no place for such activity within the IPF. Criticism, if it is to be made, and nobody or institution should be above criticism, should be polite, respectful and above all constructive. I am repeatedly involved in lively debate, but I never lost a friend through debate or criticism, in fact quite the opposite.
I am now entering my final year as your president. I would like to see in the coming year – the beginning of a flourishing North West region, a revived and economically viable yearbook and the launch of a much needed and up to date constitution which will serve well our needs in the coming years.
This job has entailed innumerable phone calls, texts, emails, journeys, meetings, arguments, debates, and a whole range of emotions from despair to elation. I have done some judging and not been shot, I have a ringside seat at distinctions sittings. My exposure to exposure modern Irish photography is unique and priveleged.
I have encountered one or two unpleasant individuals along the way, but above all, I have made so many and some very close friends.
For all this, I am profoundly grateful to you all.
President and Chair of Council,
Irish Photographic Federation