Northern Ireland news

Holy water font image wins young people's lockdown photo competition

The winning photograph showing a message placed in an empty holy water font in a church
Brendan Hughes

A teenager's picture of an empty holy water font has won a photography competition encouraging young people to capture their communities during the Covid-19 lockdown.

'A Summer Like No Other' was run by Headliners, a charity which works to empower vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people to find their voice through journalism.

It has been working with young people in Belfast and Derry during the pandemic in a bid to minimise isolation and help them produce original pieces of reporting.

The winning photograph, showing a message in an empty holy water font in St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry, was taken by 14-year-old Adam Morrison.

Adam Morrison (14), who snapped the winning photograph

The photography competition was open to young people aged 12 to 25 throughout Northern Ireland.

It was judged by award-winning Irish News photographer Mal McCann, who praised the winning photo.

"The image of a message placed in an empty holy water font in a church is a simple but symbolic image of one of the many sacrifices that people had to make during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown to keep people safe, and it is the type of picture a photographer would be on lookout for to illustrate such a story," he said.

Adam's father Kevin Morrison said his son, who has Down's syndrome, is "absolutely ecstatic" about winning the competition.

"He's absolutely buzzing. He just can't believe it," said the 51-year-old from Derry, who also has a keen interest in photography.

The father-of-two added: "He's over the moon. He keeps saying to me, 'You never won a competition!'"

Adam Morrison (14), who snapped the winning photograph

Mr Morrison said Adam loves YouTube and blogging, and has his own Facebook page, AdyMo TV, which has more than 800 likes.

For taking the winning snap, his photo has been published in The Irish News. He will also receive a GoPro camera.

Pádraig Ó Meiscill, journalist and project worker at Headliners, said: "We were astounded by the quality of the entries received and didn't envy Mal in his task of picking a winner.

"Thanks to all who took the time to enter. We're delighted for Adam and excited to see what other quality photography he produces in the years to come."

Through its multi-media journalism programme, Headliners helps young people research and produce stories for publication and broadcast about issues that concern them and campaign for change in their communities.

Visit headliners.org for more information.

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