As many of you will know, Ireland has come in for a bit of a bashing recently, with the IMF bail out, house repossessions, spiraling unemployment and now the general election tomorrow. It has all been pretty negative. However, on the photography front, Irish photographers have been doing well on the world stage recently. At this year’s World Press Awards, there were three Irish winners. Seamus Murphy with VII agency won second prize in People in the News Singles category, Andrew McConnell (Panos) deservedly won first prize in the Portrait series for his Last Colony Project, and he also won in the Arts and Entertainment singles. Lastly, Kenneth O’Halloran won 3rd prize in the Portrait series too. All great photographers producing fantastic images and stories. I’m delighted to see them all rewarded and getting recognition for their work. To add to this, I can’t forget two school friends of mine from Dublin that have been producing some great work over the years…firstly Ross McDonnell of Milky Blacks fame….some of his images can be seen here on the NY Times website….and Niall O’Brien who’s got a solo show up in London at the moment.