Photographer- Helen Maloney, Athlone, won first prize for this photo of her mother Eileen Whelan and her great grand-daughter Ryleigh Maloney Hughes.

Athlone winner in national photography competition

A beautiful intergenerational moment captured by an Athlone photographer has come out tops in a national competition.

Helen Maloney from Athlone Photography Club took first prize in Institute of Public Health’s ‘How We Age’ photography competition with her shot of her mother Eileen in her shop, interacting her great grand-daughter Ryleigh.

The Institute launched the competition in April to reframe how older people are portrayed in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The competition invited photographers to submit images capturing older people in their everyday lives under the theme of ‘Staying Active, Staying Social, Staying Connected’.

Members of the judging panel were hugely impressed by the range and quality of images submitted in this, the first ever, photography competition hosted by IPH.

The judging panel was made up of Professor Roger O’Sullivan, IPH Director of Ageing Development and Research; Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland; Tara Byrne, Arts Programme Manager, Age & Opportunity; Robin Webster, Adjunct Lecturer, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway and former CEO Age Action Ireland, and Maresa Fagan, IPH Communications Officer.

First prize, a €500 gift voucher, was awarded to Helen Maloney from Athlone, a member of Athlone Camera Club, for her lovely image capturing her own mother, Eileen, in her shop with her great granddaughter Ryleigh Maloney Hughes.

Second prize, a €300 gift voucher, went to Gerry Scully from Dublin, who captured his parents in law, Aidan and Mary Ellison, having a fun moment on a family holiday in France.

Third prize, a £100 gift voucher, went to Mark Davison, from Lisburn, a member of Belfast Photo Imaging Club, who captured a poignant moment during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was aptly titled ‘Sweethearts’.

From the entries received, IPH will create a gallery of stock images for use in its ongoing work to promote healthy ageing and broader public health themes, which may also be made available to partner and allied organisations as a free-to-access image resource.

Commenting on the winning images IPH Director of Ageing Development and Research Roger O’Sullivan said: “We were struck and highly impressed by the creativity of photographers across the island who entered the ‘How We Age’ competition. Many entries featured parents, grandparents, neighbours, friends or community or group activities and the breadth of images really captured the ordinary and extraordinary moments in the everyday lives of older people.”

“This is a first step towards changing how older people are portrayed and we intend to launch a new gallery of images later this year and also to build on this concept of an image bank into the future,” he added.

This ‘How We Age’ gallery of selected images will be launched in October to mark International Day of Older Persons.