He won the prestigious 'Mack Book First' award

Ciarán óg Arnold was a 37 year old unemployed photographer from Ballinasloe, but last Tuesday he was making headlines in the news when he won Britain’s prestigious 'Mack First Book' Award.

Ciarán was working in a photo/print company in Galway but he lost his job when the recession hit. He moved back to Ballinasloe and was on the dole for 5/6 years. It was very hard on him emotionally and obviously, financially.

His passion for photography wasn't dampened and he applied to do a Masters in Belfast and even though he doesn't have a degree, they accepted him on to the course.

Ciaran had been taking photos of local nightlife in Ballinasloe, the pictures were a psychological portrait of going out as an unemployed male in a small Irish town.

These photos are now in a book called 'I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed, but all I could do was get drunk again' which has won him the Mack First book award.

Ciaran says the pictures are "more about the moment rather than the people". He is making that clear as he has received a bit of negativity from people claiming his has portrayed the nightlife in a wrong way. 

Have a listen to the interview here...