crossexaminer.co.uk

Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Memories from his former colleague Peter Makem

According to Peter, Mickey was definitely one of south Armagh’s great creative personalities over the past half century, where his camera captured generations of the people, notably at First Communions, Confirmations, weddings and anniversaries. 

In his years as photographer with the Frontier Sentinel, the Armagh/ Down Observer, the Slieve Gullion View and the Examiner, he was perhaps the chief chronicler of the life and times of the people of his native south Armagh, but also into the wider Newry and Mourne district.

Mickey looked on photography as a distinctive art form, how to settle a group of people into a relaxed mode all looking their best, and to know the exact instant when to make the snap. There was no GAA field in the county he did not attend with his camera at the ready at the various clubs’ games. It was the same for county games where he attended the matches involving his beloved Armagh across Ireland, decade after decade, and where his art and sheer passion for the game merged into a major force.

There is no doubt he knew his football.  I used to meet him after some Armagh games when I was in charge away back and he was no wallflower when it came to giving his opinions.  Whether we won or lost he would detail improvements that could be made and went through every position on the  field, assessing how this and that player performed. He could remember everything. Then very often he would suggest that there was a good up-and-coming player from Dromintee I should keep my eye on!  A couple of times he handed me a page of proposals he had worked for the betterment of some aspect of the Armagh team, all written out meticulously.

But I always knew behind all this he was a man of devotion. He was totally devoted to the GAA, to Armagh and to Dromintee, he was similarly devoted to his art as a photographer and  chronicler of the lives of the people and above all, he was totally devoted to his family.