A GROUP of amateur Irish photographers has beaten off stiff foreign competition to be awarded a prestigious international award.
The Dundalk Photographic Society (DPS) has won the world championship event, which is run by the Federation for International Art Photographers (FIAP), beating off competition from 123 other clubs.
A selection of 20 pictures from members of the club was submitted to the body and the judges confirmed this week that the DPS had been awarded the world cup.
Last night, chairman Gabriel O'Shaughnessy said the award "means absolutely everything" to the members, especially considering the competition they beat off.
Some 60 people are members of the DPS, which has been in existence since 1979.
Normally Irish clubs do not rank in the top 10, said Mr O'Shaughnessy, which made the feat more impressive.
He said a number of English clubs have memberships that rank in the hundreds.
"It is a combination of a lot of hard work," he said.
There was a double victory for amateur Irish photographers in the competition with the Celbridge Photographic Club coming in at third place.
It is the first time that any Irish club has ranked in the top 10.
The winners receive a world cup as well as a number of other individual prizes.