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Top amateurs capture Ireland's natural beauty in 12 snapshots

John Burke from Tipperary took top prize with his study of dolphins off the coast at Youghal.

Top Oil Calendar Comp Winner John Burke Dolphins July (1) John Burke, from Co Tipperary, won first prize with this shot of dolphins off the coast at Youghal, Co Cork. Ironically, he had been there for a spot of whale-watching. Source: John Burke

THE NATURAL TREASURES of the island of Ireland are much-trumpeted – and with good cause. The annual Top Oil calendar competition is hitting its tenth anniversary this year and decided upon ‘Ireland Alive’ for its 2017 theme. Over 1,000 Irish amateur photographers entered this year and these are the images that will feature in 40,000 editions of the calendar this coming year:

Top amateurs capture Ireland's natural beauty in 12 snapshots
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  • Beach sand art, Kerry

    Breda Canty of Kerry captured the work of a local man who likes to make sand art on the beach at Ballybunion most weekends.
  • The Saltee islands

    John O'Neill of Waterford took this shot of gannets feathering their nest on the Saltees.
  • Upper Lake, Killarney

    Noel Salisid of Co Clare went to neighbouring Kerry for this perfectly still day.
  • Time out, Wicklow

    Declan Roche of Wexford spotted these deer at Glenealo Valley in Wicklow.
  • Snail reflects, Wexford

    Jackie Tighe got up close to this snail at Ballycanew.
  • Chasing waterfalls, Cork

    John Delaney was walking through Millinhassig Woods when he came across this "marvellous little waterfall" and took a half-second exposure with his Nikon.
  • Clogherhead, Louth

    Aubrey Martin of Meath took some aerial shots of the pier on a visit to shoot some seascapes.
  • The Liffey at sunset

    Pawel Zygmunt of Dublin does not generally shoot cityscapes but couldn't resist the mirror image of the quays on a quiet Liffey.
  • Doolin in October

    Sean Haughton of Clare took this sunset shot on St Patrick's Day - while the four bars in Doolin were packed with revellers, the road was deserted.
  • Flying kites, Offaly

    Paul Moore took this picture of his children flying a kite on Croghan Hill.
  • Snowy day in Roundwood

    Keith Malone from Wicklow was the People's Choice in the competition with this wintery scene in Roundwood.
  • Dolphins, Co Cork

    John Burke, from Co Tipperary, won first prize with this shot of dolphins off the coast at Youghal. Ironically, he had been there for a spot of whale-watching.

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