Cold snaps show off winter wonderland
SURFERS seen crossing a frozen beach. A snowboarder captured in midflight, and a white horse galloping in the November snow.
This week's cold snap may have cost millions to Irish businesses but at the same time it has proved an inspiration to amateur photographers up and down the country.
More than a thousand people sent their pictures to RTE's 'John Murray Show' after it requested listeners' photographs of the snow.
Last Monday, the 47-year-old radio presenter appealed for listeners to email in picture of their local area in the current cold snap.
The announcement led to an avalanche of snow scenes at his RTE radio show. And on yesterday's programme an iced lake in front of the Ben Bulben rock formation in Co Sligo was named best overall picture in a competition judged by Irish Independent picture editor Gareth Morgan.
Emer O'Shea, from Co Donegal, captured the beautifully-lit landscape image.
She also contributed striking photographs of icicles hanging amid lush green leaves, and surfers crossing a frozen Bundoran shoreline.
A member of the North-West Photographic Club, Ms O'Shea, from Ballyshannon, took her winning picture of reeds on a tidal lake near Ben Bulben, last Sunday afternoon.
Mr Morgan said: "I was looking for a picture which captured a moment in time as the country was gripped by the snow.
"Something which evoked the beauty of the icy conditions.
"Elsewhere, I was looking for photographs dealing with the frustrations and chaos of the arctic weather."
Among the shortlisted pictures were images of a white horse in a field taken by Orla Igoe, Kippure, Co Wicklow, sunrise in Donegal by Cliona Murphy, snowboarder in Tramore by Shane Molloy in Co Waterford, and a forest in snow by Lou Metzg.
All the photographers named will receive tickets to Elton John's forthcoming concert in the O2 on December 15, with overall winner, Ms O'Shea, also receiving a complimentary overnight stay in Dublin's Morgan Hotel.
With a slideshow of the snow scenes achieving more than 10,000 hits on YouTube, host John Murray said he welcomed more pictures being sent in.
"I'm sure they won't stop coming until the thaw," he said.