AIB is encouraging members of the GAA community to submit their best photographs from their own clubs and communities over the COVID-19 lockdown as part of a new picturebook series. 

The Irish bank is teaming up with sports photography company Sportsfile to compile "The Toughest Season",  a series of pictures documenting the GAA club season during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The coffee table book is an opportunity for clubs all over Ireland to record their individual experiences of the pandemic and there is no strict criteria for photographs, except that the images reflect the special place Gaelic Games occupy in communities around Ireland. 

GAA members can submit entries until Friday, Oct. 23 by uploading images onto Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alongside #TheToughest. 

The finished product will then feature a combination of Sportsfile images and fan submissions taken between January 2020 and Oct. 23. 

AIB recently launched a documentary and webisode series called "The Toughest Summer", which celebrated the strength and resilience of GAA communities around the country and this picture book is a follow-on from that successful series. 

Michael Dargan, AIB's Head of Consumer Marketing, said that the new picture book was an opportunity to tell thousands of untold stories. 

"'The Toughest Summer’ was a celebration of the camaraderie and resilience of GAA communities across Ireland, Dargan said. "We are acutely aware that the stories told across The Toughest Summer webisode series and documentary only scratched the surface of the story of Gaelic Games and its role in helping us survive and thrive in the face of a global pandemic.

"There are thousands more stories to tell. We hope that The Toughest Season will allow communities nationwide to have their experience captured for posterity in a pictorial record that will showcase the unique role of Gaelic Games in Irish society." 

Ray McManus, a photographer and founder of Sportsfile, said that this had been a year like no other and had served as a reminder of the GAA within communities all over Ireland. 

"We in Sportsfile have been taking pictures of Gaelic Games for almost 40 years. We have worked with AIB for more than 30 years stretching back to the beginning of their sponsorship of the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championships and more recently, of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

"We are delighted to partner with them on The Toughest Season. This year, unlike any other, has reminded us of the significant contribution Gaelic Games makes to Irish life on and off the pitch and that this is to be both cherished and celebrated."

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