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The world's biggest photo competition is returning to Ireland

And it wants your images.

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST photography contest is returning to Ireland for the second year.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 is taking place from Sunday 23 August to Wednesday 30 September.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 winner - Durrow Abbey, Co Offaly Durrow Abbey, Co Laois (4th place in 2014) Source: Dalenevada

Initiated by Wikimedia, the movement behind free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, the competition aims to raise awareness of Ireland’s national monuments and create a crowd-sourced bank of quality photos that will be free to use.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to photograph the national monuments in their locality and upload their photos to WikiLovesMonuments.ie.

The site includes a listing of each county’s eligible national monuments. This year the list has been expanded from 503 locations to 970 and now includes historic houses and graveyards.

Rathgall Rathgall Hill Fort, Co Wicklow (1st place in 2014) Source: Simon Dowling

Entries will be judged by a three-person expert panel and the winners will be announced on Sunday, 1 November. The top ten Irish images will then be entered into the international competition.

Last year the Wiki Loves Monuments competition in Ireland attracted 256 photographers who submitted a total of 2,015 images. The photographers uploaded images of 271 different monuments and 323 of these images are currently being used in Wikipedia articles.

Ross Castle - Finalist in Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 Ross Castle, Co Kerry (9th place in 2014) Source: Digital Eye/Niall O’Donovan

Rebecca O’Neill of Wikimedia Ireland said anyone can take part.

“We’re calling on amateur and professional photographers across Ireland to visit the national monuments in their locality, take their best shots and upload them. There are no limits to the entries photographers can make.

“The aim of National Heritage Week is to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation.

We are delighted to be able to raise awareness of the benefits of open knowledge and to increase participation in its creation and preservation.

The project is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Heritage Council of Ireland and a number of other groups.

St. Finbarre's Cathedral, Cork City. St Finbarre’s Cathedral, Cork (7th place in 2014) Source: Eadaoin De Roiste

The competition has been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest photography contest.

The annual event started in the Netherlands in 2010 which resulted in over 12,500 images being uploaded. Since then it has grown significantly and in 2014 over 321,000 photographs were submitted by more than 9,000 participants from around the world.

Wiki Loves Media 2015 was officially launched at Archaeofest in Merrion Square, Dublin yesterday.

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Read: Meet the three finalists in our up-and-coming Irish photographer competition

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