1st prize photo by Helen Maloney is her mother Eileen in her shop with her great granddaughter Ryleigh Maloney Hughes.

A lifetime reframed

An intergenerational vignette, a moment of holiday fun, and a poignant Covid-19 snapshot are the winning pics in a photography competition capturing the lives of older people in Ireland.

The winning images grabbed the judges’ attention in the Institute of Public Health’s (IPH) How We Age all-island photography competition which launched in April.

The competition set out to reframe how older people are portrayed in Ireland and Northern Ireland, inviting 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 for the competition, the first of its kind to be hosted by IPH.

1st prize, a €500 gift voucher, was awarded to Helen Maloney from Athlone, a member of Athlone Camera Club, for her image capturing her own mother, Eileen, in her shop with her great granddaughter Ryleigh Maloney Hughes.

2nd, 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.

3rd prize, a €100 gift voucher, went to Mark Davison from Lisburn, a member of Belfast Photo Imaging Club, who captured a 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, complimented the highly impressive creativity of the participating photographers.

“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,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

He added: “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.”

This 1st gallery of selected images from this year’s competition will be launched in October to mark International Day of Older Persons.

The judging panel for the competition was made up of Prof. 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.