Irish Times photographer Paddy Whelan dies

Tributes paid to ‘kind and gentle soul who had a great feeling for what he did’

Irish Times photographer Paddy Whelan: “always came back with magical pictures”. Photograph: Frank Miller

Irish Times photographer Paddy Whelan: “always came back with magical pictures”. Photograph: Frank Miller

Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 01:00


The death has taken place of former Irish Times photographer Paddy Whelan.

Whelan (78) was a staff photographer with this newspaper for almost 30 years, retiring in 2000. He died suddenly yesterday morning of a suspected heart attack.

He is predeceased by his wife Bernadette and survived by his five children, Mark, Colm, Jackie, Deborah and Bernadette, along with 12 grandchildren.

Former Irish Times picture editor Dermot O’Shea described Whelan as a “kind and gentle soul who had a great feeling for the photography he did”.


Magical pictures
“There was just goodness in every respect. He was a photographer who you could put into any conflict and he would always come back with magical pictures.”

Whelan’s photography often took him to Northern Ireland during the Troubles and to Vietnam and South Africa.

Fellow Irish Times photographer Pat Langan said he was “always a reliable and helpful friend and colleague”.

He started work as a photographer with the Irish Press and then with Maxwell’s agency, joining The Irish Times in 1971.

He won many awards for his photography over the years. One of his most memorable photographs was of a demonstration when protesters tried to overturn the ban on women bathers at the Forty Foot in Sandycove in Dublin.


Devoted grandfather
Mark Whelan described his father as a “devoted grandfather” who had looked after his grandson for 15 years. He thanked the public for many expressions of condolences.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.