Irish coastline photo scoops top award
A photograph capturing the spirit of children enjoying the summer sunshine has scooped a top award for its depiction of the Irish coastline.
Amateur photographer Carl Cutland snapped "Diving Fun" at the popular diving spot in Blackrock, Salthill, Co Galway.
A breathtaking image of the wreck of the sail training ship Astrid, which ran aground off the coast of Cork, and a photograph of a Blenny peering out of the rusting boilers of a cargo steamer sunk off Lambay Island were also honoured in the Clean Coasts Photography Competition.
The event is part of An Taisce's Clean Coasts programme which aims to encourage community groups to become guardians of their local coastline.
An Taisce's Patricia Oliver said images submitted were from Inishtrahull at the most northerly island off the coast of Ireland, to Hook Head lighthouse in the south-east on New Year's Day, surfing on the west coast and the heritage-rich Martello towers on the east coast.
"It is not easy to capture the beauty and diversity of Ireland's spectacular coastline through the lens, however once again, we are astounded to see the quality and range of submissions to this year's competition," she said.
"We are treated to a far-reaching selection of images that reveal the association of Irish residents and visitors alike to the coastline of Ireland."
Junior minister Fergus O'Dowd presented 13 awards at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire.
"These outstanding photographs serve to remind us how fortunate we are in having such a valuable coastal resource to enjoy, but we must also be aware that where we have opportunity we also have responsibility," he added.