Mark Condren of the Irish Independent/Sunday Independent has won the AIB Press Photographer of the Year 2023 title at an awards ceremony in Dublin on Friday, 3rd March 2023.

An Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD attended the event at the RDS, the 45th competition organised by the Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI).

Introduced by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, the overall trophy and 10 categories reward and recognise excellence in Irish press photography.

Cork native Condren (Castletownroche) won praise from the judges for his portfolio of images of the past year’s most moving, historic and thought-provoking events across a selection of 12 outstanding photographs.

The judges commented: “The photographer did not just manage to cover the main events of the year, at home and abroad, but they brought to their assignments an unerring ability to come away with remarkable images.  Their sense of news value, sense of timing, ability to choose original angles and creativity all came to the fore and they are an absolutely deserving winner of this award.”

This year’s judging panel was again led by former picture editor of The Irish Times, Frank Miller, International photographer Eddie Keogh, who has over 35 years of experience at the forefront of sports photojournalism and Dublin native Helen Healy who is Head of Pictures at the Financial Times.

Philip Bromwell and former RTÉ cameraman Michael Lee joined the judging panel for the multimedia category.  The judges had the challenging task of selecting the winning and highly commended images and video from 1,600 entries entered by 100 members of the PPAI members from around Ireland.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, An Tánaiste Micheál Martin, said, “This has been another extraordinary year for Ireland, and the world, where we have seen the very best of the Irish people shine through in our response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Images are a powerful way to capture moments of pure emotion, drama, kindness and tragedy in the life of our nation. The work being celebrated today shows the incredible contribution press photographers make towards recording and bringing great insight into those moments for generations to come. Congratulations to every winner and nominee for a truly exceptional body of work.”

“From the beauty of nature to the horror of brutal war and everyday life in between, Ireland’s leading press photographers have again demonstrated the power of truthful images,” said David Branigan, President, Press Photographers Association of Ireland.  “In an era of fake news, this competition highlights the invaluable role of press photography in our society.”

AIB CEO Colin Hunt, said: “AIB is honoured to return as title sponsor for the 45th annual ‘Press Photographer of the Year Awards’ as we share the PPAI’s belief that photography has a key role to play in shining a light on both the serious challenges and extraordinary opportunities facing our people, our country and our planet. It is clear from the images being showcased here that the members of the PPAI are succeeding in their mission of promoting the role of the press photographer in building Ireland’s visual historical record.’’

Awards were presented across 10 distinct categories – News, Daily Life & People, Sports Action, Sports Feature, Portrait, Nature & the Environment, Politics, Arts & Entertainment, Reportage and Multimedia in addition to  the newly launched AIB Sustainability Award.

The AIB Sustainability Award was presented to Laura Hutton of The Irish Times for her stark image ‘Abandoned Hotel’ -  an image which captures a hotel overtaken by foliage demonstrating the power of nature all around us.

The striking award, “True Inspiration”, carved by the artist Éibhlin Ní Chonaile of Celtic Roots Studio, is created from ancient bogwood over 500 years old.

All the winning and short-listed images from the ‘AIB Press Photographer of the Year’ 2023 can be viewed at the touring exhibition visiting various venues across the country over the coming year.

The first visit on the exhibition tour will be the Library at the RDS, Dublin, where it will be on display until 16th March 2023