The IPF club competitions came to an end for 2017 / 2018 on the weekend of May 19th and 20th in the Atrium of the County Buildings in Mullingar with the National Club Championships . The concensus of opinion among the participants and the audience was that the weekend was a resounding success.
I think it is a great pity that a photographic competitions or other photographic events such as this one get hardly any media attention. When one picks up the paper any day or listens to the radio or looks at television and notes the massive attention that is given to all kinds of sports both amateur and professional whether it’s hurling or gaelic football or soccer and at this time of year, tennis, or anything else I think it is lamentable that no correspondent even those whose speciality is the arts ever visits or reports on photographic events.
Twenty four of the possible seventy five clubs affiliated to the Federation competed in the National Club Championships this time, but while more entrants would have been very welcome the quality of the images on display, the Monochrome on Saturday and the Colour on Sunday was, by any standards, extraordinarily high. Going around the panels I could only marvel at the huge effort that was put into creating , photographing, post processing and superbly printing the four hundred and seventy images on display. (One club did not have a Monochrome panel)
The judges for the event were Tom Dodd, FRPS, FIPF, DPAGB, ,Russell Lindsey, FPBE, EFIAP, MPAGB from England and Bjarne Hyldgaard Pedersen, EFIAP/p MSDF/b NMiFM from Denmark. Speaking to them privately and in their public remarks they stated that in their opinion there was not a bad photo in any of the panels and that the standard of photography was as good as anything they had seen anywhere.
In every competition there are Winners with a capital W and non winners but in an event such as the National Club Finals everyone is a winner because to be there representing your club is a success in it’s own right. The winning clubs in the Monochrome were 1st Place Catchlight Camera Club, Belfast, in 2nd Place, Dundalk Photographic Society and in 3rd Place, Drogheda Photographic Club. In the Individual placings Joe Vize and Laurie Campbell of Catchlight Camera Club got Honourable Mentions as did Dave Martin of Dundalk P. S. The Gold Medal was won by Keith Elgin, the Silver and Bronze by Ross McKelvey all of Catchlight Camera Club.
The winning clubs in the Colour were 1st Place, Catchlight Camera Club, 2nd Place, Dundalk P.S. and in joint 3rd Place Drogheda Photographic Club and Blarney Photography Club. In the colour Individual Awards Ross McKelvey received two Honourable Mentions. Joe Carberry also got an Honourable Mention, all from Catchlight Camera Club. The Gold Medal went to Mark English, Dundalk Photographic Society, the Silver was won by Gregory McStraw of Catchlight Camera Club and the Bronze was taken by Hugh Wilkinson also a Catchlight Camera Club member.
The Sean Casey Memorial Trophy was won for the second year in a row by Catchlight Camera Club, Belfast with Dundalk Photographic Society in second place and Drogheda Photographic Club placed third.
Heartiest congratulations to the clear winners Catchight Camera Club and to Dundalk and Drogheda and to all the other participating clubs also.
The National Club Finals happen every year but this was no ordinary year because the Irish Photographic Federation had reached a very important milestone having been founded forty years ago in 1978 and to celebrate the fortieth anniversary all the founding members and all the former Presidents were invited guests at the annual Saturday night dinner hosted by our current President, Dominic Reddin. The former Presidents who attended on the night were Des Clinton, Cliff Hutchinson, Podge Kelly, Paul Stanley, Eamonn McCarthy, Mark Sedgwick, and John Cuddihy. James Finn, Ciaran O’Keefe and Michael O’Sullivan were unable to attend. Dominic Reddin having introduced each of them spoke about the progress of the Federation from it’s beginning to the present and then all of the former Presidents entertained all present with their recollections and anecdotes of their time in the hot seat. Des Clinton spoke especially about Sean Casey RIP who as President and in many other ways over the years played a major role in building up of the IPF from small beginnings to what it is today. Michael O’Sullivan (Mayo) a former long standing hard working member of Council and well known for many years as the Distinctions secretary was also a guest on the night as was Sean Cannon originally of Monaghan now living in Achill. Sean along with Sean Casey, Des Clinton and others were involved from the very beginning in the formation of the IPF and Sean regaled us with his stories from that time.
To mark the occasion all Presidents, Michael O’Sullivan and Sean Cannon were presented with IPF commemorative medals.
Finally,as the co-ordinato
r of the Championships this year I would like to thank Dominic Reddin for putting his trust in me to run the event. Organising something like this could never be done without the cooperation of others and in that regard I thank Liam Beattie, Brian Deering, Gerry Kerr, Denis Whelehan, Ita Martin & Des Clinton for meeting the judges Russell Lindsay his wife Barbie, the speaker on Sunday morning, and Tom Dodd at Dublin Airport & delivering them to Mullingar, Bill Power who Liaised with Bjarne Pedersen. Thanks also to Helen McQuillan the competition referee Lilian Webb & Frank Condra, and to all for making the weekend a pleasant one.
A very special thank you to Bob Morrison and his team in Mullingar for the work they put in setting up and taking down the boards on Saturday morning and Sunday evening and particularly to Bob himself for all he did locally in Mullingar making the accomodation arrangements with the Mullingar Park Hotel and for the very special fortieth anniversary dinner.
Winning Panels and images
All colour panel entries
All Mono Panel entries