A new photography competition in memory of the legendary lensman Michael ‘Jack’ O’Donnell is being organised by Donegal GAA in conjunction with the Naomh Conaill club. Amateur photographers will be invited to submit a photograph on a Donegal GAA theme, or of a Donegal landscape. The winning image, to be selected by a panel of judges, will receive the inaugural Michael Jack “Pandy” Memorial award.
The award was launched last month [February] at the Naomh Conaill GAA club dinner dance in the Highlands Hotel by Donegal GAA assistant secretary Ed Byrne who had approached the O’Donnell family, and his beloved partner Bernie, about establishing the award to commemorate Michael and his rich contribution to the Association. Michael spent more than 40 years on the sidelines capturing countless thousands of images from Gaelic games across the county and the country. A passionate Naomh Conaill man, Michael was never prouder than when his club won the Dr Maguire Cup, or ‘Pandy’ as he called it, for the first time in 2005, and he was privileged to photograph their victories again in 2010, 2015 and 2019. Sadly, Michael passed away in May 2021, a few months before Naomh Conaill won the covid-delayed 2020 final. He was aged 67.
County Chairman Fergus McGee endorsing the award stated, “Donegal GAA is delighted to establish this competition and award in memory of Michael ‘Jack’ O’Donnell. His body of work, in photographing everything from our biggest days in Croke Park to the club sports day, captured the essence of our Association and his love for our games. We hope this award will inspire photographers to capture an image that encapsulates what the GAA means to them.”
Details of how and where to submit photographs will be posted to the Donegal GAA website and publicised through our social media channels and in the local press in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, get snapping.