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Photo of the Week
Greencastle (07 July 2024)

This week's photo features this stunning aerial view over Greencastle, Co. Down. It was taken by Andrew McLaughlin about 2 weeks ago and shared earlier this week. Andrew came back home from Canada where he currently lives to be with his Granny for her 90th birthday and to spread the ashes of his father who sadly passed away in January. What an emotional journey. This picture was taken with Andrew's drone as he waited with his Granny and Aunt and Uncle to take a trip on the Carlingford Lough Ferry.

Greencastle, is a small village/hamlet 3 miles from Cranfield, which lies along the northern shores of Carlingford Lough at the foot of the majestic Mournes in Co. Down. It derives its name from its Norman fortress known by the same name. Recorded as Viride Castrum - 'green castle' in early Latin - many believe it is named after the surrounding fertile countryside. The castle was built by Hugh de Lacy around the same time as King John's castle in Carlingford in the early 13th century. Due to various attacks on the castle over time, the current castle is a mix of 13th – 16th century additions and changes. The old wooden pier which is a listed structure was important in the past and was the start of the journey of Mourne potatoes to England. It was owned by the old London and North Western Railways who ran a paddle steamer once daily with passengers and was of great local significance as a ferry terminal between Greencastle and Greenore. This old tradition of passenger/vehicles from Greencastle to Greenore has been revived with the launch of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry in recent years.

Past weeks
Sunset from Killowen (30 June 2024)

A stunning sunset over these sailing boats on Carlingford Lough captured from Killowen, Co. Down is our #photooftheweek. It was taken by Gerard McCreesh Photography. Gerard, as do we, thinks the area we live in is full of fantastic scenery and believes that it's is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time to just encapsulate the true beauty of the nature that surrounds us.

Summer Solstice Views (23 June 2024)

Our photo of the week was taken by Clodagh McKevitt on a summer sunrise solstice hike in the Cooley mountains last Thursday morning. It showcases some beautiful morning light enhancing the stunning view over Carlingford Lough from the Deserted Village, Barnavave above Carlingford. Clodagh owns Anam Tours and organises sunrise and sunset walks, guided hikes, town tours and adult and junior trails. Clodagh has lived all her life on the Cooley Peninsula and it is her love of the mountains and the rich history of the area that encouraged her to start Anam Tours - a wee one woman operation that allows her to share her passion with others. She also loves taking pictures of the natural beauty that surrounds her.

The Morrígan (16 June 2024)

The Morrígan by L7matrix on the wall of The Phoenix Bar, Dundalk. Thanks to Seekdundalk for our #photooftheweek and L7matrix for the incredible artwork. The Morrígan is a goddess of battle, strife and fertility and is mostly associated with war, fate and death. She is able to predict the death of warriors in battle and she used this to influence the outcome of wars. She is a gifted shape shifter and is known to favour changing into the crow. Her name translates as 'Phantom Queen' and she is often described as a trio of individuals, all sisters called the three Morrígna. She appeared to the hero Cúchulainn and offered her love to him. He rejected her and she vowed to hinder him in battle. When Cúchulainn was eventually killed it is said that she perched on his shoulder in the form of a crow. Luis G. Martins aka L7matrix is originally from Brazil and started using spray paint for art at the young age of 13. He has created his own unique approach by using china ink, varnish, soft pastel, oil pastel, acrylic and spray paint. This artwork on the wall of The Phoenix Bar was created as part of the 2024 Seek Festival and the artist captures the magical moment of Morrígan’s transformation from human form to a hooded crow. The SEEK Festival now running since 2019 is centred on promoting contemporary urban art in Dundalk. By commissioning established and emerging artists locally, nationally and internationally, they aim to promote the town culturally and artistically, repositioning the area as a vibrant hub for creativity. Every year each artist is tasked with painting a large scale mural illustrating a character or moment from Dundalk's rich history and heritage. It is well worth taking a walking trip around Dundalk and seeing some of these fabulous murals face to face.

Flagstaff View (09 June 2024)

The stunning view from the Flagstaff by Steven Morgan. Steven and 3 friends parked a car in Carlingford and got a lift up to the start of the Flagstaff race which is on Sunday 16th June. They are all runners from BARF ( Belfast association of rock climbers & fell runners) & the Mourne runners! The plan yesterday was to recce the race route & get the best lines for the race next Sunday! The race is about 10 miles or so! The views up there yesterday were pretty amazing so hopefully the weather will be good for the race! Steven always enjoys running in the Cooley mountains the food after in Carlingford never disappoints!

Legananny Dolmen (02 June 2024)

We love this moody shot of Legananny Dolmen from Enda Quinn. Enda is a keen photographer from South Armagh who likes landscape and nightscape photography. You can follow him on Instagram at enda.quinnn. The Legananny Dolmen sits in an elevated position on the western slopes of Slieve Croob and a stunning panoramic view of the Mournes provide a majestic backdrop to this ancient tomb. Legananny portal tomb is thought to date back to 2,500 B.C. - over 4,500 years ago. Its over 3m long capstone is often said to resemble a coffin and the almost 2m high supporting stones the pallbearers. There are several explanations of the name of the dolmen which shares its name with the townland. One is 'Liagán Áine', translated as the Pillar Stone of Aine, the mother Goddess associated with Fionn MacCumhaill. Another meaning suggested is 'Liag an Fhanáidh' which translates to 'the flat stone on the slope'. Well worth a visit.

Sailing Paradise (26 May 2024)

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this week's photo is from somewhere very exotic …. but it’s none other than Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Peter Larkin while out with Greenore Coast Guard yesterday. Peter has been a volunteer with the coastguards for over 40 years now - no mean feat and a great service to the community.

Deer in the Bluebells (19 May 2024)

Our #photooftheweek comes from John O'Reilly and features this beautiful deer amongst the bluebells in Ravensdale Forest. John is from the Hilltown area previously having lived in Warrenpoint & Rostrevor. He has worked for Newry Mourne and Down district council for over 16 years. He is a father of young twin girls and has always had an interest in photography. Having only bought his first proper camera in 2022 he has really enjoyed getting out and about with his camera and since then feels fitter, healthier, and much happier. John enjoys taking photos of nature, wildlife and the stunning scenery from the beautiful area we live in. John is totally self taught with a little help from other photographers and YouTube. You can follow John on Instagram at jmole21.

Sunrise through Gabelle (12 May 2024)

This weeks photo is shared to thank everyone who woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning and took part in #darknessintolight2024 as well as those who organised and contributed. We also think of all the families affected by mental illness over the past year. The first ‘Darkness into Light’ walk took place in Phoenix Park in 2009 with over 400 people completing a 5km walk in aid of Pieta House. This year well over 100,000 people took part at over 230 locations across 23 countries and 4 continents. The event aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and helps to reduce the stigma of suicide and self harm. People walk, run, cycle, sail, paddleboard amongst other things and this is the 2nd year that boats from Carlingford Marina have raised funds by #sailingintolight. Setting off in the dark at 4:15am 8/9 boats left the marina and headed out past Haulbowline Lighthouse to watch a stunning sunrise and view the beautiful scenery around Carlingford Lough on a gorgeous morning. The sun broke through the clouds and mist in beautiful reds, oranges and pinks. This photo was taken by Ann Bruen with the sailing boat Gabelle providing a perfect framing of a very special sunrise.

Haulbowline Lighthouse (05 May 2024)

Our photo of the week features Haulbowline Lighthouse and was taken by Amanda aka colsloepole (Instagram). Amanda loves taking photographs and brings her camera with her on all days out and dog walks! With so much rain about recently, Amanda was delighted to see on the weather forecast that there was going to be a sunset visible from Greencastle. She jumped into the car and headed down to the Lough. Not only was there a beautiful sunset starting, but the Lough was as calm and peaceful as Amanda had ever seen it. The cotton candy pink sky did not disappoint, and as usual, Haulbowline Lighthouse stole the show!

A Fox Family (28 April 2024)

How cute is this week's photo featuring these five beautiful fox cubs. It was taken by Rostrevor photographer Louis McNally. Louis is retired and enjoys wildlife photography and has taken some amazing wildlife shots. Fox cubs are typically born in the spring between March and April. There can be as many as 14 cubs in a litter but usually it's four to five cubs. They spend the first month of their life in their den with their mother. They then start to venture outside the den. They will be fully grown and independent by Autumn.

A Mourne Lamb (21 April 2024)

This week's photo comes from Daniel McEvoy. It was taken just outside his home where he grew up, near Atticall (from the Irish: Áit Tí Chathail, meaning 'place of Cathal's house'), at the foothills of Slieve Muck in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Daniel has never studied photography but it is something that he loves doing and we love seeing his wonderful photos and often share them on our page. Daniel takes all his photos with his phone and there is always something beautiful to photograph around where he lives. We love seeing photos of Daniel's cats and kittens set against the backdrop of some beautiful scenery - this week they were overshadowed by this beautiful lamb.

Sunset from Greencastle (14 April 2024)

A fisherman at Greencastle as the sun sets behind the Cooley mountains - such a lovely photo. It was taken by Gerard McCreesh Photography yesterday evening. Gerard, as do we, thinks the area we live in is full of fantastic scenery and believes that it's is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time to just encapsulate the true beauty of the nature that surrounds us. One week ago it pounded us with winds, rain and high tides and exactly one week later it gives us a view of pure beauty at its best.

King Johns from above (07 April 2024)

Our photo of the week is this lovely aerial view over Carlingford. It was taken by Gaz Drone Photography. Gaz is a drone operator who mainly shoots around County Down and surrounding areas. He loves the views and opportunities presented in the Carlingford area and thinks it's such a beautiful place to capture from above. For much more content you can follow Gaz on Facebook or Instagram at Gaz Drone Photography.

Rainbow Delight (31 March 2024)

It's been a week of sunshine and showers and lots of rainbows. We love this double rainbow capture over Carlingford from Tony Black which he took on a day trip around the Cooley Peninsula yesterday. Tony has a full time career in the Health Service but since completing a 3 year Photography Qualification in 2014 he has continued to pursue his passion for photography. Tony loves to capture the stunning local landscapes of the Mourne Mountains and beyond. You can follow Tony on Instagram at emeraldeyeprints.

Sheep Views (24 March 2024)

"Ewe gotta check out this view” - one of our own this week - a lone sheep standing tall against the beautiful backdrop of Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. Photo taken from the turf road above Omeath. Photo credit: Ann Bruen

Night sky at Silent Valley (17 March 2024)

Our fabulous #photooftheweek is this night shot over Silent Valley Reservoir. It was taken by Robbie Marsh. A beautiful clear sky captured over a tranquil Silent Valley on Friday evening - a really special place located deep in the heart of The Mournes. Check out Robbie’s page Mourne Mountain Adventures and his website and you can even join Robbie and his team on one of their amazing adventures in The Mournes!

Kilbroney Sunrise (10 March 2024)

"Our photo of the week is this beautiful photo looking down on Carlingford Lough through these pine trees from Kilbroney Forest Park. It was taken by Lorraine aka the_little_gallivanter (Instagram) on a sunrise walk last week. Kilbroney Forest Park is situated in Rostrevor, Co. Down and offers a wide range of activities and facilities including a children’s play area, picnic areas and a café as well as a caravan and camping site. You can also drive to the upper level carpark and take a short hike up to the famous Cloughmore stone and not too far from the stone you can find this beautiful spot - often nicknamed ‘Kodak Corner’.

Snow on the Mournes (03 March 2024)

We didn't get as much snow as some other parts of the country last week but there was a nice dusting on the Mournes. Our #photooftheweek is this lovely shot from the Mournes (Slieve Bearnagh and Slievenaglogh) taken by Thomas (kinners82 Instagram). Thomas has been running and hiking mountains for about 5 years now mostly in the Mournes. Whenever he is out running he takes pictures of whatever he sees with his phone and the mountains do the rest! Thomas lives relatively close to the Mournes in Rathfriland so getting to them is very convenient. Thomas thinks the Mournes are the most beautiful place to visit and hopes to continue to run there until he is no longer fit. He hopes that his fitness journey and pictures inspire others to get out and get up the Mournes or whatever mountains are near by and really enjoy what is on your doorstep.

Sunrise over Carlingford Lough (25 February 2024)

Thanks to Steven Morgan for this lovely shot of sunrise over Carlingford Lough from Warrenpoint. Steven loves coming to the Carlingford Lough area for a run in the mountains. On his way down yesterday morning Steven left Hillsborough a bit earlier to get a few shots of sunrise and as luck would have it there were some stunning views and sunrise colours over the lough. You can follow Steven on Twitter / X at stevenmorgan40

Sunset at Haulbowline (18 February 2024)

This week's photo comes from the talented lens of Robert McKee. This shot is from a series of shots that Robert planned using the PhotoPills app - an idea that turned into a plan that worked out brilliantly. Using PhotoPills, Robert was able to determine his exact location for the shoot to align the setting sun with Haulbowline Lighthouse - in this case Cranfield Point. Robert is from Kilkeel and loves colourful landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, and also the night sky. Robert's camera is practically with him all the time! There is so much beauty in the area we live especially the Mourne Mountains and the Carlingford Lough area where Robert can regularly be found. Check out this series of shots and some more of Robert's photography at RBM Photography.

Stunning view from Slieve Foye (11 February 2024)

Our photo of the week is another stunning view from the slopes of Slieve Foye from James M Carlisle. Looking down on Carlingford Lough and across to Killowen, Co. Down and the Mourne Mountains showcasing the stunning scenery of our area. James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and we love seeing his beautiful photography. You can follow James on Instagram @mckenzief1 and twitter @JamesCarlislef1

A lough of clouds (04 February 2024)

A lough of clouds - Our photo of the weeks is this beautiful view from the Flagstaff over Carlingford Lough taken by Stephen White /Stiofan De Faoite. Stephen is a technician from Ballyholland outside Newry who loves hiking and food and takes some great photographs of our stunning scenery. Stephen was on his way to work on the M1 and noticed the low cloud. He chanced the Flagstaff and lo and behold was awarded with this beautiful sight. The only downfall is that he had to go to work afterwards ! You can follow Stephen on Instagram @stiofan_de_faoite

Moon selfie on the Mournes (28 January 2024)

Our photo of the week was taken by Rad Szopinski who got this wonderful moon selfie with his dog in the Mournes earlier in the week. Have a read of how Rad got this photo!

I went for a wee hike in the Western Mournes, roamed around for an hour or two, and as the sun packed its bags, I decided to head back. While I was going down I glanced back, and there's the stunning wolf moon playing hide and seek behind the mountain. I thought, 'I gotta snap this magic,' but no tripod in sight. I plopped the camera on a rock, focused on the ridge 300 yards away, set it to shoot intervals, and sprinted like my life depended on it. Five minutes later, me and me loyal dog arrive, clueless where to pose. Spent 20 minutes dancing like a confused leprechaun, taking 50-60 pics, only to find out I'm a master at being out of frame. Ended up with one gem though a victory for the clumsy photographer in the Irish wilderness!

Rad has lived in Kilkeel since 2008 and fell in love with the Mourne Mountains the first time he saw them about 15 years ago. He likes to express his feelings and his gratitude through his photography. You can follow Rad on Instagram @mourne_mountains_photography

Snow capped Slieve Donard (21 January 2024)

Fair dues to Catherine-Louise Small for braving the weather and hiking to the summit of Slieve Donard and sharing this lovely snowy shot. Catherine-Louise is a primary school teacher from Co. Down and is an Ambassador for Aquaplanet and TrekNI. She loves to hike and SUP at any given opportunity, making the most of having the Mournes and the sea on her doorstep. You can follow Catherine-Louise on Instagram @_caty_lou_

Birds Eye view over Carlingford Lough (14 January 2024)

Check out this fabulous photo of the week showcasing a magical view over Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Natalie White. Natalie was travelling along this road last weekend and the winter sunlight was so beautiful and hazy that day that she had to stop the car and capture it. Natalie has had a passion for photography since she was a child and played around with disposable film cameras. Nowadays Natalie uses an Olympus mirrorless camera and for this shot in particular she used her DJI drone. Natalie finds it so exciting to be able to see the places she loves from a Birds Eye view. In her free time Natalie loves exploring different parts of the country with her husband & family and always brings her camera with her as she never want to miss an opportunity to capture beautiful moments. You can follow Natalie on Instagram @nataliewhitephotography_

View from Slieve Foye (07 January 2024)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful view from Slieve Foye. We had some lovely winter sunshine over the past week and photographer James M Carlisle took full advantage and enjoyed on a hike on Slieve Foye earlier in the week. James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and we love seeing his beautiful photography. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1.

Haulbowline Lighthouse (31 December 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful shot of Haulbowline Lighthouse. It was taken by Enda Quinn last week while he was out testing his Christmas present - a new Camera lens sigma 150-600mm. Enda is a keen photographer from South Armagh who likes landscape and nightscape photography. You can follow him on Instagram @enda.quinnn

Festive Cheer at Newry Town Hall (24 December 2023)

Our photo of the week is this festive capture of the Christmas lights at Newry Town Hall. It was taken by Sean Donegan - the man behind Newry Man Lost In Ireland, a page dedicated to landscape, architecture and abandoned photography. Sean is a Newry based professional fashion, commercial and press photographer and has been shooting for nearly 30 years and started professionally about 10 years ago. You can see more of Sean's stunning photography on his website / social media pages:-
Facebook: Sean Donegan Photography
Facebook: Newry Man Lost
Instagram: @seandonegan.photography
Twitter: @SGDPhotography
Website: Sean Donegan Photography

It is said that because of a reputed rivalry between Counties Armagh and Down over the proposed location of Newry Town Hall it ended up being built on a bridge on the Clanrye River which roughly marks the border between Down and Armagh. So no one county can claim it!

Carlingford Lough Sunrise (17 December 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise view over Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Maureen Crawley. Maureen lives in Killowen, Co. Down and has always enjoyed photography as a hobby.

Misty Flagstaff View (10 December 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful misty view shot from the Flagstaff last week. It was taken by Mark Flynn. Mark went out planning a sunrise shot but changed plans when he saw the mist covering Warrenpoint and the result was this lovely scene. Mark is from Newry, is the father of two young girls and his favourite hobby is photography. He loves sunrises and loves to arrive / climb mountains in the darkness just to watch the sky change. He feels so lucky to have all this so close to home and we are all lucky that we get to enjoy his wonderful photography. You can follow Mark on Instagram @flyno1971

Winter Flagstaff View (03 December 2023)

Our photo of the week is this gorgeous shot of the stunning view from the Flagstaff. It was taken by Noreen Mack. Noreen was keeping nice and warm in her camper van a while before sunrise and there was a big bank of doom across the horizon so it wasn’t looking promising. Nevertheless she decided to brace the bitter cold and wait it out to see if the sun would break through the cloud. She sent Peter back to the van to make a cup of hot tea and lo and behold the sun made a beautiful appearance. Noreen bought her first camera a few years ago with the sole purpose of photographing her decorative cakes in the hope of getting published in cake magazines. But very quickly she fell in love with landscape photography and hasn't stopped teaching herself since. She finds it a truly wonderful and rewarding hobby. You can see more of Noreen's photography on her facebook page Noreen's Ireland.

Festive lights - Newry Town Hall (26 November 2023)

Our photo of the week is this festive shot of Newry Town Hall taken during the Christmas lights switch last Thursday. It was taken by Joseph McNeill. Joe lives in Newry and only bought his first camera last year- a Canon 850D with a 70-300mm telephoto lens. He also uses his Samsung Galaxy s22 ultra phone camera. He was always interested in phone photography and has a great love of birds having bred Bantams and Ring Neck and Golden Pheasants as a young boy. You can follow Joe on Instagram @joemcneillphotography

Carlingford Lough (19 November 2023)

Our photo of the week comes from Amanda aka @colsloepole (Instagram). Amanda loves taking photographs and brings her camera along with her on all days out and dog walks. When Amanda took this photo she was out for a walk in Kilbroney Forest Park where she often takes photos of Carlingford Lough. On the way home Amanda was driving through Warrenpoint and looked out at the Lough on her left hand side. The sight was beautiful, and Amanda ended up pulling her car over and getting out with her camera. The Lough was so calm and beautiful. The left side (and the Mourne Mountains) were still bathed in sunlight, while the right hand side (and the Cooley Mountains) were in complete shadow with the most lovely clouds floating over the sky. The reflections on the water were amazing so Amanda snapped this photo (and a few others!) and then sat and enjoyed the scene for a while. It's a moment Amanda will not forget soon, and we are delighted she has shared for others to enjoy.

Stepping Stones at Tollymore (12 November 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful photo of the infamous stepping stones surrounded by stunning Autumn colours at Tollymore Forest Park. It was taken by Lorraine aka @the_little_gallivanter (Instagram). Tollymore Forest Park is located in Bryansford, Co. Down and has stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Mourne mountains. It regularly featured in the series Game of Thrones. The name Tollymore (Tulaigh Mhór) is derived from "large hill or mound", referring to the two hills which are located within its boundary. The park was once dominated by Bryansford House which was built in the 1730s and remodelled twice in the 19th century. Sadly the house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1952. In 1955 Tollymore became a National Forest Park. The Shimna River flows through Tollymore and 16 bridges cross over the river within the grounds. It is well worth a visit - especially during Autumn. Lots of lovely trails, historic bridges and nature on show.

Aurora Borealis from the Mournes (05 November 2023)

Our fabulous photo of the week is this shot of the Aurora Borealis taken on the 5th November from the Mourne Mountains on a Sony A7iii using a Sony 14mm FE1.4/14GM lens (Camera Settings: 13” F1.8 ISO640). It was taken by Robbie Marsh aka Mourne Mountain Adventures. Robbie had this to say about the experience.

“After spending 3 hours sitting through the rain at Spelga Dam waiting for an opening myself and good friend Robert McKee from RBM Photography moved to a new location that I knew the airflow wouldn't be effecting therefore giving us a clear sky. As a local full time mountain guide in the Mournes, I have a deep connection with the weather and knowledge of the area. Knowing that the air was cooling and condensing into cloud as it rose over the peaks plays a big advantage in finding the perfect location when magic starts to happen. Apart from good camera equipment the one thing that will make you successful in capturing the Aurora is good clothing, and some sort of cover from the elements. We were truly awarded last night, I could hardly take a picture I was so in awe of the light show that stood high in the sky. There is so much has to come together to make it happen, your availability, sky conditions, is your camera kit ready to go, but all of this makes it even more rewarding. I should add if going into the Mournes to search for the Aurora please ensure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you’ll be back, bring some safety equipment such as a group shelter and dress for the conditions. If you're interested in joining us in one of our guided hikes send me a message on our instagram page @mourne.mountain.adventures"

Rainbow over Newry Canal (29 October 2023)

Our photo of the week is this fab double rainbow over Newry Canal. It was taken by Mark JJ Pearce. In Mark's own words it was pure lucky timing .. it only took him 30 odd years to capture it!

Morning light at Tollymore (22 October 2023)

We have selected this beautiful shot of the sun streaming through the entrance of Tollymore forest park last week as our photo of the week. It was taken by Deborah Anderson. Deborah moved to Newcastle two years ago with her husband. She enjoys amateur photograpy and prints some of the photos on slate. Deborah has three dogs and loves walking in Tollymore. She took this photo early one morning. The gates were still locked when she arrived so she parked outside. Deborah was walking back to the car when she noticed the morning sun streaming through the gates and stopped to photograph it. You can follow Deborah on Instagram @down_days_ni

The Devil's Coach Road, Mourne Mountains (15 October 2023)

How mystical do the Mournes look in this shot? Our photo of the week was taken by Rad Szopinski who got lost in the ethereal embrace of the misty mournes last week. Rad has lived in Kilkeel since 2008 and fell in love with the Mourne Mountains the first time he saw them about 15 years ago. He likes to express his feelings and his gratitude through his photography and feels a certain magic in the way the fog wraps around these ancient peaks in this photo. You can follow Rad on Instagram @mourne_mountains_photography

Moody at Gyles Quay (08 October 2023)

Our photo of the week is this atmospheric shot from Gyles Quay. It was taken by Michael Rice aka @tibs_studio_snaps. Michael is from Killean, Co. Armagh and he started photography around fifteen years ago. Initially he focused mainly on local GAA hurling but these days it's mostly wildlife and nature and whatever else gets in front of the camera.

Gyles Quay is a small seaside village and was named after Ross Gyles who built a wooden pier there in 1780 which was replaced with the present day stone pier in 1824. In the 19th century its location made it convenient for illegal smuggling of wine and tobacco. To help curb this smuggling a coast guard watch station was constructed in 1823. A small village grew around the pier. A row of pretty coastguard cottages are still standing and in use as private residences. The beach here is a mixture of sand and stone and safe for swimming. Gyles Quay was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s and it was packed out with people during the Summer and at weekends.

Sunrise over Carlingford Lough (01 October 2023)

Our photo of the week is this gorgeous sunrise scene over Carlingford Lough from Warrenpoint. It was taken by Martin G McCaul last week around 7:30am. Martin took an interest in photography when he lived in New Zealand. He lived there for 28 years but it was actually on a holiday back to Newry in 1985 that photography became more of a passion. Martin returned to Ireland in 1992 and continued taking photos. Martin continues to try and get out everyday if possible with his camera to combine a bit of walking exercise along with photography.

Ben Crom Reservoir (24 September 2023)

Our photo of the week is this stunning shot overlooking Ben Crom Reservoir and the Silent Valley, Mourne Mountains, Co. Down. It was taken by Glenn aka @born2adventureni Glenn is a Co. Antrim man but is captivated by the beauty of the Mournes. He is a keen hiker and he posts his beautiful photography and videos on social media to show others how beautiful the Mournes are. He uses his camera phone and for him it' all about capturing the moment there and then.

The Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs were built to gather water from the mountains over most of the High Mournes. The reservoirs are surrounded by mountains and the grounds contain parkland, lakes and ponds. They supply water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. The Mourne Wall which defines the boundary of the 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) catchment area was built between 1904 and 1922. The wall is a listed monument owned and maintained by NI water. It stands up 3m high, has an average width of 1 metre stretching for 35km and crosses 15 mountains. The Silent Valley Mountain Park is open daily with an admission of £5 per car. Lots of lovely trails and picnic spots to enjoy as well as the amazing scenery - highly recommend a visit.

Sunset paddleboarding (17 September 2023)

Our photo of the week is this gorgeous scene as some lucky paddleboarders enjoy a spectacular sunset on Carlingford Lough near Greencastle. It was taken by Sean McGrath. Sean is an award winning photographer from Newry and has been taking photos for around 10 years with a passion for sports and landscapes.

Cooley Peninsula from above (10 September 2023)

Our photo of the week is this amazing aerial shot showcasing the Cooley Peninsula. It was taken by Gerald McGivern aka SeeHigher. Gerald has over 40 years of experience and expertise in flying radio controlled aeroplanes and helicopters as a hobby and 10 years commercially flying multi-rotor aircraft (what folks call drones). Based near Warrenpoint, Seehigher provides a service for high quality aerial video and photography producing creative content for businesses big and small. They also work in the construction industry to capture 360° panoramic aerial photography, 3D mapping, land surveys and roof inspections using their specially designed drones and hold all the required Operational Authorisations from the Aviation Authorities. You can follow Gerald at www.facebook.com/SeehigherUAV or view his website www.seehigher.com for more information.

Hydrangea View (03 September 2023)

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them" - Henri Matisse

Our photo of the week was taken by James M Carlisle. James came across these beauties on the roadside below The Deserted Village above Carlingford and they were begging to be photographed with their spectacular backdrop. James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross for over 20 years now. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and we love seeing his beautiful photography. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1.

King John's Castle (27 August 2023)

Wow - such a beautiful aerial photo of King John's Castle, Carlingford. It was taken by Tomasz Pietruszka. Tomasz is a keen photographer from Newry. He is happiest when he is behind his camera lens, capturing the breathtaking landscapes of Ireland. There's nothing quite like capturing the changing light and colors of the Irish landscape as the seasons change. Tomasz is always seeking out new and unique angles to showcase their beauty. Check him out on Facebook or Instagram to view more of this beautiful photography. You can follow Tomasz on Instagram @tomaszpietruszka_photography and Facebook @tomaszpietruszkaphotography

Heather at Kilbroney (20 August 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful setting looking over Carlingford Lough from Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor, Co. Down. Check out the stunning summer colours of the heather on the hills. It was taken by Lorraine aka @the_little_gallivanter(Instagram). Kilbroney Forest Park is situated in Rostrevor, Co. Down and offers a wide range of activities and facilities including a children’s play area, picnic areas and a café as well as a caravan and camping site. You can also drive to the upper level carpark and take a short hike up to the famous Cloughmore stone.

Carginagh Sunflower Fields (13 August 2023)

Our #photooftheweek is this beautiful sunset over a sea of sunflowers at Carginagh Sunflower Fields against the backdrop of the majestic Mourne mountains. It was taken by Robert McKee aka RBM Photography. Robert is from Kilkeel and has only discovered a hidden talent for photography over the past few years. You can follow Robert on his Facebook page RBM Photography and you can also find him on Instagram: @robertmckee17

Victoria Lock in action (06 August 2023)

Our photo of the week is this amazing aerial shot over Victoria Lock on Newry Canal as a flotilla of boats passed through as part of Carlingford Marina's crusising week events. It was taken by Gerald McGivern aka SeeHigher. Gerald has over 40 years of experience and expertise in flying radio controlled aeroplanes and helicopters as a hobby and 10 years commercially flying multi-rotor aircraft (what folks call drones). Based near Warrenpoint, Seehigher provides a service for high quality aerial video and photography producing creative content for businesses big and small. They also work in the construction industry to capture 360° panoramic aerial photography, 3D mapping, land surveys and roof inspections using their specially designed drones and hold all the required Operational Authorisations from the Aviation Authorities.

Victoria Lock is the first lock on the Newry Ship Canal. It was designed by Sir John Rennie and built by William Dargan in the 1840s. It was the entry point for larger sea going vessels to the Newry Canal from Carlingford Lough through Narrow Water. The Newry Canal was built to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry. The site was landscaped and the lock automated in May 2007, creating a lovely, peaceful, sheltered picnic site with access to Newry and the Albert Basin for pleasure boats at high tide. Unfortunately sights like this will soon be a thing of the past as plans are in place to build a non fixed bridge across the canal at a height of 12m which will mean the majority of these boats will not be able to pass through.

You can follow Gerald at www.facebook.com/SeehigherUAV or view his website www.seehigher.com for more information.

Emerald Gratia Reflections (30 July 2023)

Our photo of the week comes from Jason Ruddy who lives in Warrenpoint. It features these beautiful reflections as the Emerald Gratia headed out on a calm Carlingford Lough during the week. She is passing by Slieve Foye and the former St. Michael's College / Táin Holiday Village which is now the site of a new retirement village Baile Beag.

Slieve Foye Views (23 July 2023)

Thanks to Julita O'Toole for sharing this beautiful photo. It was taken on the top of our very own Slieve Foye here in Carlingford by Julita's little son Jakob. We are very lucky to be living in such a wonderful place, surrounded by stunning scenery of both sea and and the mountains. Julita took her son for his very first climb up the Slieve Foy when he was 5 years old, and since then it is their little “go to place” every time they want to take a break from the hassle and bustle of busy life. The views from the top never stop to amaze them.

Old Walls (16 July 2023)

What a setting this old ruin has situated on an elevated site overlooking Carlingford Lough. Our photo of the week is this beautiful picture taken by James M Carlisle. These words from Nanci Griffiths suit this photo well!

If these old walls, if these old walls could speak
Of things that they remember well
Stories and faces dearly held
A couple in love living week to week
Rooms full of laughter
If these walls could speak
If these old halls, hallowed halls could talk
These would have a tale to tell
Of sun going down and dinner bell
And children playing at hide and seek from floor to rafter

James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross for over 20 years now. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and we love seeing his beautiful photography. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1.

Somwhere over the rainbow (09 July 2023)

What a beautiful rainbow over Carlingford Lough. Our photo of the week was captured by Gillian Fitzpatrick. Gillian and her friend Caroline Anderson swim regularly at Sandy Bottom in Warrenpoint. They usually go for a moonlight swim each month and that is the reason why they were in the perfect spot at the perfect time to capture this rainbow (and a hint of a double rainbow) earlier in the week. And check out the cloud formation under the rainbow - doesn’t it look like the lower half of Ireland? Rainbows are a symbol of hope in many cultures. We typically see an arc, but did you know they are actually full circles? Viewing from the ground you only see the light reflected by raindrops above the horizon. It is possible to view the more circular structure of the rainbow from the air.

Dundalk Court Reflections (02 July 2023)

Our photo of the week comes from the lens of Darran Rafferty aka Dundalk Photos. Darran had been waiting for the right day to take a few puddle reflections photos in Dundalk and last Wednesday proved perfect. There was plenty of rain the night before, no wind, blue skies with a few white clouds. He got some funny looks when taking the photos in the crowded streets, but they came out great. Check Darran’s page / Instagram ‘’Dundalk Photos’’ to view some more fantastic reflections. This photo features the Dundalk Court building. The original courthouse building was constructed between 1813 and 1818 and is one of the most important examples of Greek revival architecture in the country. It was designed by Edward Park and was supposedly based on the portico design and dimensions of the Temple of Theseus in Athens (via Archiseek).It had fallen into a state of disrepair but was extensively remodelled and refurbished between 1998 and 2003.

Sunset at Greencastle (25 June 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunset shot from Stefan Campbell - 'Chasing dreams in the Golden Glow'. It was taken from Greencastle Beach on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Stefan is from Kilkeel and Carlingford Lough is a regular swim spot favourite of his! The sunsets during the summer are like no other and Stefan loves to head out on a paddle board with his drone for the best unobstructed front row seats alongside the seals. He has lived in England for the last 16 years and is currently working as a tandem skydive instructor and owns his own business in videography and drone services. You can follow Stefan on Facebook: Campbell & Co Media or Instagram: @campbell_co_media__

Ghan Cottage, Carlingford (18 June 2023)
We love this beautiful picture of Ghan Cottage in Carlingford. Our photo of the week was taken by Samantha Clarke (Instagram: @samnthaj. Samantha was visiting the area from the United States. She had this to say about her visit:

'Coming from suburban Chicago to Carlingford was a breath of fresh air. All of the lush plants and preserved history are not something we see often but will keep us coming back'

And what amazing stories Ghan Cottage holds if only the walls could talk. The Cottage is a 5-bay 2-storey house which was built circa 1770. It is thought to have been built in association with Ghan House which is situated close by, and it forms an important part of Carlingford's past from an historical architectural perspective being a great example of 18th century architecture. It was in its time a wedding reception venue. Would love to know more about its older history if anyone has any additional information.

Sunrise over Carlingford Marina (11 June 2023)

Our photo of the week is this dreamy sunrise over Carlingford Marina. It was taken by Aga - @landscapesbyaga who is a local photographer based in Dundalk. Aga is very passionate about landscape photography and Ireland in general.

PS Waverley on Carlingford Lough (04 June 2023)

The paddle steamer Waverley visited Warrenpoint last week and took a sunset cruise in amazing weather. This shot from Robert Mc Kee - otherwise known as RBM Photography - is our photo of the week. Robert took it from Cranfield and captured this paddle boarder as the ship passed by. You can follow Robert on Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography to view more of his stunning photography

The PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. She was named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel and built in 1946 to replace the original PS Waverley that was built in 1899 and sunk in 1940 rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk during WWII. This replacement operated until 1973 when she was deemed too costly to run. She was sold to The Paddle Steamer Restoration Society for a token sum of one pound to help ensure her restoration. A public appeal raised funding and she was successfully restored. She had a significant rebuild between 2000 and 2003 mostly funded by the National Lottery. And in 2019 money was raised to fix a boiler problem. Beautiful sailings reminiscence of times gone by are organised by Waverley Excursions. The Waverley Paddle Steamer was in fine working order as she cruised from Warrenpoint to Kilkeel and back Tuesday evening taking in the stunning views of the Cooley Mountains, the Mourne Mountains and Haulbowline Lighthouse in some fantastic weather.

Mourne Venture Tugboat (28 May 2023)

Our photo of the week is this moody shot of the MOURNE VENTURE tugboat on Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Karol Sciubisz aka La Boca Vista (Instagram @labocavista) a city and landscape photographer based in Ireland.

The MOURNE VENTURE is a tugboat that was built in 1981 by Astilleros y Varaderos Tarraga (Spain) and currently sails under a UK flag. She is 25 meters long and 8.4 meters wide with a carrying capacity of 76 t DWT. Tugboats are small but very powerful boats that are capable of steering large ships by pulling or pushing them. They are used to help large ships to manoeuvre in narrow water channels and ports. The MOURNE VENTURE is a familiar sight around Carlingford Lough regularly strutting her stuff with the big ships and helping them turn and navigate around Greenore and Warrenpoint ports. Last year the Mourne Venture together with the Mourne Shore tugboat guided the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Warrenpoint - The Azamara Pursuit - through Carlingford Lough and then helped turn her at Warrenpoint Port. And in the words of Michael Bassey Johnson

"No matter how tiny you look, you can lead huge men if you have what the huge men don't have"

The Tholsel, Carlingford (21 May 2023)

Our photo of the week is this atmospheric shot featuring The Tholsel in Carlingford. It was taken by Marcel, a world traveller and travel photographer. You can follow Marcel on Instagram @travelphotomarcel or on Facebook Oliveros Fine Photography

The Tholsel was one of 4 town gateways in the town wall around Medieval Carlingford and is the only one remaining. It stands at the entrance to Tholsel Street and dates back to the 15th century. The name 'Tholsel' refers to a structure where tolls or customs dues were collected. These would be usually found in market places in the centres of towns. The Tholsel in Carlingford is a gatehouse in form but may well have been used for the collection of customs on goods or tolls on people entering the town. Originally it was 3 storeys high but was altered to the current 2 storey structure in the 19th century during extensive repair work carried out by Lord Anglesey. In 1834 it is recorded that it was used by the Corporation of Carlingford for meetings and a Parliament is said to have used it to make laws for the Pale. It has also been used as a town jail. The building is said to have been used as the Sessions House in the 17th century where the sovereign and burgesses met. Local tradition also claims (somewhat improbably) that a parliament met here and made laws for the Pale and that it was used as the town gaol in the 18th century. It is considered very significant as it is the only surviving town gate in Carlingford and one of only a small number of town gates in Ireland. It is generally in good condition and is privately owned. [Reference: Carlingford Conservation Plan]

Greers Quay, Omeath (14 May 2023)

Our photo of the week is this lovely shot from Greer's Quay, Omeath. It was taken by Damien Rooney. Damien is from Warrenpoint and enjoys walking, photography, hiking and cycling the Carlingford Lough greenway. You can follow Damien on Instagram @damien.rooney

Greer's Quay was commissioned to be built by Robert Walker Greer, a local landowner, in the 1840s to help develop Carlingford Lough's fishing industry. He also built the nearby Ballyoonan House (St. Michael's College, Tain Holiday village and now Baile Beag) as an elegant mansion situated on 14 acres on Carlingford Lough. The stone built pier is adjacent to the Carlingford Lough Greenway which runs along the route of the former Dundalk Newry & Greenore Railway. Still in good condition the pier has a number of fishing vessels moored alongside.

Sharing is caring (07 May 2023)

Our photo of the week captures this beautiful moment between two robins. It was taken by Joe McNeill. Joe was visiting the Lough Neagh observatory centre in Co. Armagh with this wife, who put some sunflower seeds on two fence posts. Joe was camera ready in the right place at the right time and caught this beautiful intimate moment between these two birds. Female and male robins are difficult to tell apart, so we are not quite sure who is feeding who! Joe lives in Newry and only bought his first camera last year- a Canon 850D with a 70-300mm telephoto lens. He also uses his Samsung Galaxy s22 ultra phone camera. He was always interested in phone photography and has a great love of birds having bred Bantams and Ring Neck and Golden Pheasants as a young boy. You can follow Joe on Instagram @joemcneillphotography

Shelduck over Carlingford Lough (30 April 2023)

Our photo the week is this shot of a male shelduck flying over Cooley Point near Templetown Beach. It was taken by Rosie Nixon. Rosie recently moved to Newry from Scotland and for the last 15 years has primarily been a floral photographer and some of her work is displayed in an Edinburgh gallery. She has also been a horticultural magazine columnist and has written articles on photography for magazines and newspapers in the UK and Ireland as well as working with a BBC film crew for a day about her floral photography. Floral photography has its challenges but it's nothing quite like the challenges of bird photography, especially birds in flight. Rosie started doing bird photography a few years ago and she and her husband spend their time off each week exploring the area around Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula with their cameras. They had been trying to photograph shelducks for over 6 months, but they could never get close enough to them until this past week. They were at a deserted Templetown beach at 6.30 am just as golden hour was about to commence. However, it was blowing an easterly gale with 60 km gusts. Rosie knew that if they sat and waited someone walking along the beach would flush the birds towards them at Cooley Point. Thankfully some brave soul decided to walk along the beach and as a result the shelducks flew off in their direction! Clickity click and Rosie finally got some decent flying shots in the morning golden light, and this is one of her favourites. You can follow Rosie on Facebook @leavesnbloomphotos and Instagram @rosie.nixon1

Sunrise view from the Turf Road (23 April 2023)

Check out this fantastic morning view from the Turf Mountain above Omeath. It was taken by Tomasz Pietruszka. Tomasz is a keen photographer from Newry. He is happiest when he is behind his camera lens, capturing the breathtaking landscapes of Ireland. There's nothing quite like capturing the changing light and colors of the Irish landscape as the seasons change. Tomasz is always seeking out new and unique angles to showcase their beauty. Check him out on Facebook or Instagram to view more of this beautiful photography. You can follow Tomasz on Instagram @tomaszpietruszka_photography and Facebook @tomaszpietruszkaphotography

Reflections from Omeath (16 April 2023)

Our photo of the week comes from John O'Reilly and features these stunning reflections of Slieve Foye and one of the Newry River Range lighthouses. John is from the Hilltown area previously having lived in Warrenpoint & Rostrevor. He has worked for Newry Mourne and Down district council for 16 years. He is a father of young twin girls and has always had an interest in photography. Having only bought his first proper camera 10 months ago he has really enjoyed getting out and about with his camera and since then feels fitter, healthier, and much happier. John enjoys taking photos of nature, wildlife and the stunning scenery from the beautiful area we live in. John is totally self taught with a little help from other photographers and YouTube. You can follow John on Instagram @jmole21

Sunrise at Haulbowline (09 April 2023)

Our photo of the week is this stunning sunrise shot over Haulbowline Lighthouse. It was taken by Paddy Donnelly. Paddy lives in Dublin and for the last 25 years he has been videoing his son's soccer games, and taking some pics along the way. His videoing was good but he didn't think his photography was great. So 3 years ago Paddy did a 7 week Photography course, with the Dublin Photography School. Paddy thought Stewart and the team at the Dublin Photography School were excellent teachers, and they ignited his passion for photography. Paddy lives only an hour from Wicklow, so on his days off work he heads for the mountains or the coast. He works in Dublin Airport and his shift work provides lots of flexibility for photography. He will often head to Wicklow and do a 4 or 5 hour hike and never meet another soul. Landscape Photography is his big passion, and Wicklow and Kerry are his favourite destinations to go to. On the morning Paddy arrived in Ballagan on the Cooley Peninsula to shoot sunrise at the lighthouse, there was a thick bank of cloud on the horizon and he nearly didn't get out of his car. We are very glad he did. The cloud broke for a brief few minutes and he got this great shot. Paddy thought the area was absolutely beautiful, and wants to explore more of it including the Cooley and Mourne mountains. We are hoping the Carlingford Lough area will soon be a contender for his favourite destinations to photograph. You can follow Paddy on Instagram @paddyspixs

Heron at Haulbowline (02 April 2023)

Our photo of the week is this great shot of a Heron flying with Haulbowline Lighthouse in the background. It was taken by Micheal Rice. Michael is from Killean and has been taking photos for a good few years - mostly GAA spots and also macro and nature shots. Michael has been in and around Greenore lately and has taken some beautiful shots around Carlingford Lough. You can follow Michael on Instagram @tibs_studio_snaps

Rainbow at Greers Quay (26 March 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful rainbow over Greer's Quay Omeath. It was taken by Mark Flynn. Mark is from Newry, is the father of two young girls and his favourite hobby is photography. He loves sunrises and loves to arrive / climb mountains in the darkness just to watch the sky change. He feels so lucky to have all this so close to home and we are all lucky that we get to enjoy his wonderful photography. You can follow Mark on Instagram @flyno1971

Greer's Quay, Ballyoonan, Omeath was commissioned to be built by Robert Walker Greer, a local landowner, in the 1840s to help develop Carlingford Lough's fishing industry. He also built the nearby Ballyoonan House (St. Michael's College, Tain Holiday village) as an elegant mansion that was situated on 14 acres on Carlingford Lough. It is an isolated pier which dries out completely at low water but 1.5 metres is always available at the end of the pier so it is possible for vessels to land here at all tides. At high tide the pier has 4 metres of water. The stone built pier is adjacent to the Carlingford Lough Greenway which runs along the route of the former Dundalk Newry & Greenore Railway.

Winter scene at Narrow Water (19 March 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful winter scene at Narrow Water Keep. It was taken by Martin Hesketh. After working in the NHS in London for over 30 years, Martin and his wife Julie retired early to live life. They moved back from London to Fermanagh last Christmas and Martin decided to spend a few years photographing all of Ireland. He is enjoying this so much and communicating with lots of new people. You can follow Martin on Instagram @hesketh_martin and on Facebook Martin Hesketh Photography and see some more of his lovely shots on his journey photographying our beautiful country.

There has been a keep on the site of Narrow Water since 1212. It was originally built by Hugh de Lacy to help prevent attacks on Newry along the river as part of the areas Norman fortifications. The current building is a 16th century tower house and bawn (defensive wall) and it is regarded as one of the best preserved in Ireland. It was built by the Magennis family in the 1560’s who owned it until 1670. It was then sold to the Hall family who owned it until 1956 when it was given into state care. Narrow Water Keep was three stories high with an attic. The ground floor was used for storage, the first may have been used as a guardroom. The second floor would have been the main chamber. As the name suggests, Narrow water keep is near a relatively narrow stretch of the Clanrye (Newry) River which flows into Carlingford Lough.

Wildthorn Cottage in the snow (12 March 2023)

Our photo of the week was always going to feature snow after the taste of winter that came our way this past week. There were some amazing photographs shared and it was very hard to pick out just one. This beautiful cottage scene caught our eye. It was taken by Michael Murphy, the owner of Wildthorn Cottage - a quaint cottage nestled in the heart of the Mourne mountains, Co. Down. It boasts scenic views of both the mountains & the sea and is a perfect spot for a couples retreat. It also provided this picture perfect postcard scene.

Aurora Borealis at Spelga Dam (05 March 2023)

Our photo of the week features this amazing Aurora selfie from Robert McKee aka RBM Photography. It was taken at Spelga Dam last Sunday. In Robert’s own words

“On Sunday 26th Feb, I was watching my Aurora app for the chance of some Northern Lights. Then, after 7 p.m., a few Aurora Facebook pages posted that a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) had reached earth from the Sun. The stats on the app confirmed, so I rushed to Spelga Reservoir, where I was treated to an incredible display of the Aurora Borealis for about 1hr 30 mins. It was amazing to be able to see this time, and towards the end of the display, the sky above me glowed pink, so I tried a selfie shot for fun. I got over 100 different photos of the display and will be doing the 1st prints for sale this week!”

You can follow Robert on Facebook and Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography to view more of his stunning photography

Cloud reflections at Gyles Quay (26 February 2023)

Our photo of the week was taken by Aga, a local photographer based in Dundalk. Aga is very passionate about landscape photography and Ireland in general. This photo was taken at Gyles Quay beach at sunset. You can follow Aga on Instagram @unforgettable_moments_dundalk

Sunrise from Slieve Binnian (19 February 2023)

An early morning hike to the top of Slieve Binnian for sunrise was awarded with this stunning view. Photo was taken by Johnny Irvine - you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram as @heavytohiking

Sunset at Templetown (12 February 2023)

This week's photo features this stunning sunset sky and reflections at Templetown Beach on the Cooley Peninsula. It was taken by Paul Gallagher. Paul lives in Dublin where he manages Buswells Hotel. He regularly visits and walks in the Cooley area and caught this beautiful sunset last Saturday. The sunset and evening sky were stunning with an array of colours beautifully reflected on the wet sand.

Sunrise Silhouette (05 February 2023)

They say timing is everything and the MARIA LENA fishing vessel timed it perfectly as she passed by the rising sun at a very opportune moment. Our #photooftheweek was taken by Ann Bruen from Omeath slip at 8:17am last Monday morning. The MARIA LENA is a fishing boat that was built in 1983. She is 33metres long and 7metres wide. She sails under the flag of the UK and her port of registry is Kilkeel. If anyone knows the skipper, get in touch and we can arrange to have the photo sent on. You can follow Ann on Instagram @ann.bruen

Robin at Silent Valley (29 January 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful robin posing at Silent Valley against the backdrop of the snow capped mournes. It was taken by Mac Creative Photography. Mac Creative Photography is a qualified award winning photographer with 25+ years of experience in many specialised areas of photography to which he adds his own unique creative twist.

The Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs were built to gather water from the mountains over most of the High Mournes. The reservoirs are surrounded by mountains and the grounds contain parkland, lakes and ponds. They supply water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. The Mourne Wall which defines the boundary of the 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) catchment area was built between 1904 and 1922. The wall is a listed monument owned and maintained by NI water. It stands up 3m high, has an average width of 1 metre stretching for 35km and crosses 15 mountains. The Silent Valley Mountain Park is open daily with an admission of £5 per car. Lots of lovely trails and picnic spots to enjoy as well as the amazing scenery - highly recommend a visit.

Sunset hues on Meelbeg (22 January 2023)

This week's photo of the week features a stunning shot from the Mournes. It was taken by Catherine-Louise Small. Catherine-Louise is a primary school teacher from Co. Down and is an Ambassador for Aquaplanet and TrekNI. She loves to hike and SUP at any given opportunity, making the most of having the Mournes and the sea on her doorstep. Catherine-Louise knew the weather was due to break at the weekend so took full advantage of heading into the Mournes after work on Friday evening to experience a snowy sunset on Slieve Meelbeg. It definitely didn't disappoint. This picture was taken on the descent from Meelbeg after sunset - the pink glow illuminating the sky was just magical and so fantastic to be able to share. You can follow Catherine-Louise on Instagram @_caty_lou_

Slieve Meelbeg comes from the Irish Sliabh Míol Beag meaning 'little mountain of the ants'. It stands at almost 702m (2,303 ft) and is considered to be the twin of the nearby Slieve Meelmore / Sliabh Míol Mór. Despite what you might think from the names, Slieve Meelbeg is actually higher than Meelmore which stands at 680m ((2,230 ft). Apparently on older maps the height of Meelmore was mistakenly given as 704m.

Sunrise from the Flagstaff (15 January 2023)

Our photo of the week features this beautiful sunrise vision over Carlingford Lough from the Flagstaff viewing point. It was taken by Phil Traynor. Phil lives in Swords, North County Dublin. He started photography in lockdown 1.0 and has been taking photos ever since. He shoots with a Canon EOS R. Phil loves to get out every week and take photos whether it is in Dublin, Wicklow or further afield. You can follow Phil on Instagram @philstagram1984 to view more of his lovely photography

The Flagstaff Viewing point/Barr an Fheadáin lies just over the border from Omeath, Co. Louth, in County Armagh and offers fantastic views over Carlingford Lough as the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea and Slieve Foye in the Cooley Mountains rises on the other side. The Irish name for Flagstaff is Barr an Fheadáin - which means ‘Top of the Water course’. It is said that a flag used to be raised on the Flagstaff to inform the pilot in Warrenpoint or Omeath of the approach of a ship. The centuries-old tradition of hoisting the flag overlooking Carlingford Lough was revived in 2016 after a break of 46 years and is now an annual event as part of the Lúnasa Festival.

Tranquility on Carlingford Lough (08 January 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful tranquil scene from Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Kristof Szent-Ivanyi. Kristof is a retired Glaxo executive and has been taking pictures for the last 6 decades. Kristof spends lots of time in Warrenpoint and is a member of the Marlow Camera Club. This photo was taken on New Year’s Day around midday.

Winter scene on Donard (01 January 2023)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful winter scene from Slieve Donard. It was taken by Rad Szopinski who has lived in Kilkeel since 2008. Rad fell in love with the Mourne Mountains the first time he saw them about 15 years ago. He likes to express his feelings and his gratitude through his photography. This photo features the Mourne wall and stile right before sunrise covered with snow and ice from heavy north winds. It was taken on a windy and cold St. Stephen's Day / Boxing Day. You can follow Rob and view more of his stunning Mourne Mountain photography on Instagram @mourne_mountains_photography.

A Christmas Robin (25 December 2022)

For the day that is in it – our photo of the week features this gorgeous robin. It was taken by Caroline who has a special affection for the beautiful robin redbreast. Caroline sadly lost her daughter aged 41 to Breast Cancer in March. Her daughter loved robins and whenever Caroline sees one she likes to think her daughter is watching over her. During the recent cold spell Caroline had several robins in the garden and this little one kept sitting on the perch waiting for her to go out and put some mealworms out for it. Happy Christmas to all. Hope you have a lovely time with family and friends. Our thoughts are especially with those who have lost close friends and family members. May fond memories keep their spirit alive and with you at this special time of the year. Nollaig Shona daoibh go léir. You can follow Caroline on Instagram @caroline4599

Omeath Christmas Lights (17 December 2022)

Our photo of the week is this gorgeous shot of the Omeath Christmas Lights. It was taken by Noreen Mack from Warrenpoint Pier last week. Noreen and Peter were visiting Yellow Water and Warrenpoint and staying in their campervan Matilda. Noreen had wanted to take this photo, so they braved the cold -4 to -5 degree temperatures and ventured around to the pier. The photo was taken with a Sony A73 at 400mm F/16 13 sec and ISO 100. We love it! Noreen and Peter finished their evening with a lovely stroll around Warrenpoint and took in the festive atmosphere. You can see more of Noreen's photography on her facebook page Noreen's Ireland

Winter on Slieve Binnian (11 December 2022)

For the week that's in it, our photo of the week is this beautiful snowy scene from the Mournes taken by James M Carlisle. James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross for over 20 years now. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains. This photo was from an extraordinary days hike up in the winter wonderland of Slieve Binnian last Friday. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1.

Sunrise from the Flagstaff (03 December 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise vision across Carlingford Lough taken from the Flagstaff viewing point by Mark Flynn. Mark is from Newry, is the father of two young girls and his favourite hobby is photography. He loves sunrises and loves to arrive / climb mountains in the darkness just to watch the sky change. He feels so lucky to have all this so close to home and we are all lucky that we get to enjoy his wonderful photography. You can follow Mark on Instagram @mark_flynn_71

Sunlight on Warrenpoint Bandstand (26 November 2022)

Our photo of the week is this lovely shot of the rising sun piercing through the beautiful Edwardian bandstand in Warrenpoint Park. It was taken by Michael Lear of Lear Associates. The Bandstand was erected in 1907 at a time when Warrenpoint was among Ireland's leading seaside destinations. It was manufactured by Walter MacFarland & Co. Saracan Foundry in Glasgow, one of the most important manufacturers of ornamental ironwork at that time. A grant of £850,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund funded restoration works of the bandstand which were completed in 2018. The bandstand was carefully restored and repainted in colour based on the original 1907 colour scheme. As part of the restoration the roof of the bandstand was stripped and the cast iron decorative detailing was taken back to the foundry where it was originally created. Lear Associates are currently working in Warrenpoint Municipal Park restoring aspects of its horticultural heritage thanks once again to the support of Newry Mourne Down District Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Sky Full of Dreams (20 November 2022)

Our photo of the week is this great shot of the Milky Way and the Mourne Wall which was taken last Friday night by Robert McKee aka RBM Photography. Robert went to the Mournes as his daughter Lucy asked to go see the Milky Way over the Mourne Wall. There were clear skies and no moon so they couldn't have asked for better conditions. To add to the magic they actually captured a leonid meteor (shooting star) in this long exposure shot with Lucy centre stage! A very special memory for this father and daughter and a spectacular photo for us all to enjoy. You can follow Robert on Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography to view more of his stunning photography

Seatruck at sunrise (13 November 2022)

The Seatruck Precision departing Warrenpoint on a rough Carlingford Lough last Friday morning is our photo of the week. It taken by Warrenpoint local Jason Ruddy. You can follow Jason on Instagram @jason_ruddy87

The Seatruck Precision is a Ro-Ro Cargo vessel that was built in 2012. She is 142 meters long and 25 meters wide and operates between Heysham and Warrenpoint.

Sundown at Ballykeel Dolmen (06 November 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful shot of the setting sun peeping through Ballykeel Dolmen. It was taken by Enda Quinn last Sunday evening just before the clouds rolled in. Enda is a keen photographer from South Armagh who likes landscape and nightscape photography. You can follow him on Instagram @enda.quinnn. Ballykeel Dolmen is a Neolithic burial site which dates between 4000 and 2500 BC and lies at the foot of Slieve Gullion. It is known locally as The Hag's Chair.

The Tholsel, Carlingford (30 October 2022)

This week's photo is from John Williams who lives in Clough. John is an amateur photographer who has combined photography with his motorcycling and had taken part in the Irish Photo Rally for many years. He gave up the motorbike last year and now spends more time out with just his camera looking for different angles and compositions of many of the well known spots around Ireland. He enjoys a bit of street and architectural photography in Dublin or Belfast. But when he wants to relax, it's landscape photography that does it for him. He prefers buildings, old or recent to be part of the shot where possible. You can follow John on Instagram on @photographic_ireland

We love this view of The Tholsel through the Sycamore trees, with King John's Castle visible in the background. The Tholsel was one of 4 town gateways in the town wall around Medieval Carlingford and is the only one remaining. It stands at the entrance to Tholsel Street and dates back to the 15th century.

Tollymore Sunrise (23 October 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise through the trees at Tollymore Forest Park. It was taken by Lorraine aka @the_little_gallivanter (Instagram). Tollymore Forest is over 630 hectares and showcases stunning scenery at the foot of the Mourne mountains, just outside Newcastle, Co. Down. It is well worth a visit - especially during Autumn. Lots of lovely trails, historic bridges and nature.

Moonrise by Haulbowline (16 October 2022)

This fantastic capture of this month's Hunter Moon was taken by Peter Hourican on the 10th October. Peter is an amateur photographer and has lived in Warrenpoint all this life. He has always enjoyed photography but in the past few years he really likes to capture beautiful scenes that are little bit different from the norm around the shores of our beautiful Carlingford Lough. And this sure is a beautiful scene captured brilliantly. We love it.

Sunrise from the Flagstaff (09 October 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise scene from the Flagstaff viewing point. Standing in Co. Armagh, with Warrenpoint, Co. Down on the left and Omeath, Co. Louth on the right, with this beautiful view over Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Steven McGrane. Steven is a landscape photographer based in Dublin. He specialises in photographing the beautiful landscapes of Ireland. His photography collection from Ireland has taken him years to compile often having to re-visit the same location several times to get the light just right. All the locations that Steven photographs around Ireland have a special place in his heart as they have provided him with a much-needed escape into nature. For Steven it provides a chance to get close to nature and the landscape that surrounds this beautiful island. You can view more of Steven’s stunning photography on his Instagram account @stevenmcgranephotos

Slieve Meelmore Sheep (02 October 2022)

Our photo of the week comes from the Mournes and was taken by John McLaughlin. John is a hiker and trail runner who regularly runs the Mournes in Co. Down, capturing scenes around the trails and summits of these rugged mountains. This photo was taken at the stone tower on the summit of Slieve Meelmore along the 22 mile long Mourne wall. The construction of the wall was completed in 1922 and enclosed the water catchment area for the Silent Valley Reservoir to prevent livestock from contaminating the water supply. Today, the sheep roam free on both sides of the wall and this cheeky chap watched as John ran by to catch the sunset on the neighbouring Slieve Bearnagh. Follow John on Instagram on @wild.hikes.ireland to view more of his beautiful photography.

New dolphin on the lough (25 September 2022)

Our photo of the week is this great capture of our latest resident dolphin - a short beaked common dolphin that has been around for the last 4-6 weeks. It was taken by Maureen Crawley. Maureen lives in Killowen, Co. Down and has always enjoyed photography as a hobby. She first noticed this dolphin about a month ago when she was out walking her dogs on the shore near where she lives. Most days she sees it jumping in the distance. Maureen was lucky enough to get the chance to go out on the lough in her brothers boat one evening and captured this great shot. We posted this photo earlier in the week and Maureen would like to thank you all for the lovely comments and all the likes. She is delighted with the response to it. Finn is still around and seems to be staying mostly around Haulbowline Lighthouse again after spending the Summer close to Greenore - so he would be 4 /5 miles away.

Common dolphins have a distinctive creamy yellow hourglass pattern along the sides, with a dark grey back, tail and flippers and a cream coloured belly. Because of their distinctive colour pattern, they are sometimes referred to as hourglass dolphins. You can see this pattern in Maureen's great photo. They are very acrobatic and often leap clear of the water as seen in some of the recent photos posted. Their acrobatic leaps can often be seen from several kilometres away. Remember - if you meet a dolphin whilst at sea try to keep your distance and if they do approach you allow them to interact on their own terms and leave at will in order to protect them.

Sunrise at Narrow Water (18 September 2022)

This week’s photo is this beautiful sunrise scene near Narrow Water Keep on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Jason is a keen photographer who lives in Warrenpoint. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonruddy87) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87) to view more of his stunning photography.

Colour at the Crossroads (11 September 2022)

Thanks to Eamonn Brennan for this beautiful colourful capture at Omeath crossroads. Eamonn is an amateur photographer and loves the village of Omeath where he lives. He likes to promote and acknowledge it, especially when colour and vibrancy appear from nowhere.

The ancient inhabitants of Omeath were known as the Aighneacha and the ancient name of Carlingford Lough - Cuan Snamh Aigeach would appear to be derived from the tribe who inhabited Omeath. It consists of 10 townlands - Ballyoonan, Ballinteskin, Corrakit, Tullagh, Ardaghy, Bavan, Lislea, Cornamucklagh, Knocknagoran and Drummullagh. Omeath has a rich cultural history and was home to many poets, the most well known being Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta. It was a noted Irish speaking area and one of the oldest records of Gaelic football from this era is a poem as Gaelige which translates to "The match of Bavan Meadow". It was played around 1750 and was written by Redmond Murphy, at a time when Irish was widely spoken in the Omeath area. The Irish college Coláiste Bhríde was set up in Omeath in 1912 by Eoin Mac Neill. Coláiste Bhríde was a summer Gaelic college inaugurated in 1912 until it moved to Rannafast in Donegal in 1926. Padraig Pearse visited the college on a number of occasions, and it is believed he wrote some of his famous oration for the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa in Omeath. The last native speaker of Omeath Irish was Anne O’Hanlon who died in 1960 aged 89.

Omeath was a favourite resort for Northern Ireland day-trippers during the 60s and 70s and was often packed out at weekends. The arrival of package holidays and cheaper flights gradually saw the decline in this trade. A small passenger ferry which had been operated by the same family ran for over 100 years between Warrenpoint and Omeath during the Summer months and the infamous Mulligans corner shop at Omeath crossroads opened on July 4th, 1952 and sells everything from souvenirs to ice cream cones and is still on the go having just celebrated 70 years of business last July.

Currachs on Carlingford Lough (04 September 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful photo of traditional Currachs on Carlingford Lough taken last weekend by Feargal Ó Cléirigh. Thanks to Feargal for the photo and the information. This was taken at the beginning of the 17th Irish International Currach Championship at Warrenpoint. The currach is a traditional Irish rowing boat, typically found on the west coast, but brought to the area in recent times with the establishment of the Carlingford Lough Currach Club in 2014. When the first settlers arrived in the northern part of Ireland during the Neolithic period, they would have likely been using what was the ancestor of the currach. This, coupled with the significance of the area as the backdrop to the Táin Bó Cuáilgne, lends a mythical quality to the act of rowing a currach on Carlingford Lough. Rather than stepping onto an outdated mode of transport on an interchangeable body of water – we are walking, or rowing, in the mythical and symbolic landscape of our ancestors.

The LEADER on Carlingford Lough (28 August 2022)

What a beautiful sight watching the 1892 Tall Ship LEADER with its sails up passing by the majestic Mournes on Carlingford Lough. Our photo of the week was taken by Roland Hollman from his boat last week. The heritage tall ship LEADER was acquired by Silvery Light Sailing - a maritime heritage community boatworks and sail training charity based in Northern Ireland. The charity was awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £244,975 for the acquisition of the ship and a further expansion of their traditional boat building skills workshop and community sailing programmes. If you are interested in Maritime Heritage and Restoration and would you like to learn (or teach others) boat repair, restoration, small boat and engine maintenance - 'The Community Boatworks' meet in the Silvery Light Sailing Workshop in Greenbank Industrial Estate Newry. It's open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30am - 4pm. Contact 07968992647 for more details.

Fireworks on the Lough (21 August 2022)

Our photo of the week is this firework display from the Warrenpoint Loughside Festival taken last Monday night by Niamh McArdle. Niamh and two of her friends Ashlinn and Andrea were out on their kayaks to watch the firework display. It was a beautiful calm night and they had front row seats for the show! There wasn't another boat out on the lough that they could see and they got plenty of snaps of the fireworks and the water. Niamh captured this striking shot as Andrea kayaked in front of her. She said that it was definitely a magical experience and a great idea of her friend Ashlinn’s to head out on the kayaks.

Moonrise at Haulbowline (14 August 2022)

There have been so many supermoon photos this week - the incredible weather produced some amazing clear skies to see this nature spectacle at its best. We of course are a bit bias and this is a collage of the photos Ann Bruen took for the Carlingford Lough and Cooley Peninsula social media accounts last Wednesday evening. It took a bit of planning with the help of PhotoPills, a boat, a lot of patience, a steady hand and a skilful skipper.

"It was amazing on the lough – the moonrise, up close and personal with the impressive Haulbowline Lighthouse surrounded by cormorants, the red skies of sunset opposite and a friendly hello from Finn the resident dolphin as we passed by Greenore on the way home - absolutely magical."

You can follow Ann on Instagram @ann.bruen

Finn and the salmon (07 August 2022)

It was hard to choose just one photo of the wonderful selection of photos posted by Damien Jackson of Finn the dolphin earlier this week. Damien took this photo around 8am on Friday 29th July. He was in the area as he was photographing the triathlon which was held in Kilbroney Park on Saturday. He stayed in Carlingford in his small campervan the previous night hoping for some nice colours over the lough on Friday morning. As the weather was calm, damp and misty he decided to head to the beach at Greenore to take some photos of the boats moored in the area. After 10 minutes or so he noticed the dolphin rising out of the water, just his fin and curved back. A couple of times when he dived his tail fin was out of the water like the classic whale photo so Damien thought the boats aren’t going anywhere, let’s see if I can get a nice wildlife shot. It was then the water exploded as Finn propelled this salmon out of the water and chased it. Damien immediately changed to a longer lense, hands trembling as he realised this could be a shot in a million, also knowing the the dolphin might not even appear again! So the next 15-20 mins were spent watching and waiting thinking where will he pop up next and then it all kicked off. Finn again propelled the salmon up in the air and chased it. The propulsion happened so quickly that Damien is still not sure whether he threw it with his mouth or propelled it with his tail. The series of ‘action’ shots lasted intermittently for about 8 minutes throwing the salmon around and chasing after it and then he just went back to frolicking around, presumably the salmon had been eaten. Damien's heart was left pounding after this possibly once in a lifetime experience and he just couldn’t wait to download the images onto his laptop, 1. To see if they were any good as you can never trust the back of the camera and 2. To have a back up copy just in case! He was understandably thrilled with the end result and we love them.

Damien lives in Tramore, Co. Waterford and his hobby/passion is photography. His favourite genres are landscape/seascape and sports but he dabbles in other genres such as wildlife and some studio work. A lot of weekends are spent around the country in his campervan seeking out new adventures and photography spots. Damien is a firm believer that the more you get out in nature, the more you increase your chances of something out of the ordinary happening and he certainly proved this last week in Greenore. Damien's website is www.djackson-images.com and for those interested in photography you can also follow his adventures on his YouTube channel

IMPORTANT: Please remember to keep your distance from Finn if visiting. The best way to see him is from the shoreline where you will not disturb him in any way. If he approaches you while kayaking, boating, jet-skiing, please slow down and don't surround him. And please don't attempt to swim with him - Greenore is unsafe for swimming and Finn is a wild animal and as such unpredictable. Disrupting his resting or feeding times can negatively impact Finn causing a “disruption of natural behavioral patterns" and as he would usually burn up to 33,000 calories a day - equivalent to 25 kilograms of fish - he needs time to do so.

Sunrise silhouette from Greenore (31 July 2022)

Sunrise silhouette from Greenore - our photo of the week. It was taken by Tamala Krsna Stornelli. Tamala is originally from Venezuela but has been living in Greenore since 2021 with his partner and yoga teacher Francesca. They chose this spot because of its beauty, magic and landscapes and they can't leave out Finn of course. Sometimes we take things for granted and it is is refreshing to read these words about our area from Tamala


“For people living here it may be a "normal" spot but I'm telling you, this peninsula is awesome! I invite you to look at it as if it you are seeing it for the first time, as though you are on holidays. Awe yourself again with every inch of it and feed up your inner being with its magic to light up your life just as this sunrise lights up the Cooley Peninsula every morning”


Tamala enjoys photography as a hobby. He is also a life coach and is a free soul that believes this life is meant to be happy.

Haulbowline Lighthouse (24 July 2022)

Our photo of the week is this stunning seascape of Haulbowline Lighthouse on Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Tony Dalton, a Belfast based photographer who specialises in local landscapes, nature and wildlife. On the landscape photography genre Tony tends to seek out the more unusual conditions, i.e. auroras, the milky way, night sky scapes and of course beautiful sunrises and sunsets. He has his own small business showcasing his photos by creating fine art featuring framed and unframed landscapes. Tony has over 20 years of material in his portfolio and he is still working his way around our wee island in his classic VW campervan capturing some favourite locations as you have never seen them before. He has a beautiful display of his work in Born & Bred in Ann Street, Belfast and you can view more of his art on his website www.tonydaltonphotography.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Tony Dalton Photography and Instagram Tony Dalton Photography

Haulbowline is an active 19th century lighthouse sitting at the entrance channel into Carlingford Lough. It was built on a wave washed rock which is only visible at low tide. The lighthouse was converted to electric power in 1965 and was the first automated Irish offshore lighthouse. In 2008 the revolving signal was replaced with a flashing warning and in 2009 the fog signal was permanently disestablished. It is a granite tower with a lantern and gallery incorporating a keepers quarters. It has 8 floors and at one time had accommodation for 3 lighthouse keepers. There is also a secondary lantern halfway up the tower which up until 1922 displayed a ‘half tide’ light to inform mariners that the tide was high enough to enter the lough. It was first used in September 1824 but was not fully completed until 1826 at a cost of £28,242. It was designed by George Halpin who was also responsible for the construction of much of Dublin port, several of Dublin’s bridges, and a number of other lighthouses. The request for its construction came following complaints that the existing shore-based Cranfield Point Lighthouse did not mark the channel and dangerous rocks at the entrance to Carlingford Lough in an adequate way. Cranfield Point lighthouse later became a victim of coastal erosion in the early 1860s. Building this tower on a semi-submerged rock with fast currents running around it was a remarkable achievement at the time. The tower was painted white and remained so until 1946 when it was changed to its natural stone colour. From 1824 until 1922 the lighthouse keepers and their families lived in the Cranfield Point Lighthouse dwelling. New dwellings were built at Greencastle in 1922 and subsequently sold after the light was automated.[Information from Irish Lights]

View from the Turf Road, Omeath (17 July 2022)

Our photo of the week features this stunning view of Carlingford Lough, the Cooley and the Mourne mountains from the Turf Road above Omeath. It was taken by Ferdia Burns of Carlingford Lough Open Water swim club. The club members regularly venture out walking around the hills of Carlingford Lough to help build endurance as well as enjoy the stunning beauty of the scenery. This was taken on a hike from Killean, Co. Armagh over the turf road to the Long Woman's Grave and Carlingford. You can follow the swim club on Instagram @carlingfordloughopenwater

The turf road from Ardaghy to Clermont mountain was constructed in a few short months in 1941 when Ireland faced a serious fuel crisis. It is well worth the trip out to Ardaghy, Omeath and a drive up for the views alone. You can also easily trek to the Clermont Cairn, a Neolithic burial cairn. You can read more about the history of the turf road in this interesting document compiled by Seamus Murphy

Mourne Mountain View (10 July 2022)

This week's #photooftheweek comes from Catherine-Louise Small. It was taken on a Lough Shannagh hike from Banns Road car park and showcases the Mourne Wall and beautiful blooming heather. In the distance you can see Spelga Dam. Catherine-Louise is a primary school teacher from Co. Down who has the Mournes on her doorstep. She loves any opportunity to go hiking in the mountains and nothing beats a wonderful sunrise to put a smile on her face. You can follow Catherine-Louise on Instagram @_caty_lou_

Lough Shannagh is the largest body of water in the Mourne Mountains that is not man made. The Mourne Wall, not surprisingly, is one of the most photographed sights in Co. Down. It spans 22 miles long and it passes over 15 peaks in the Mourne Mountains.

Finn fishing on the lough (02 July 2022)

Our photo of the week is this great shot of Finn tossing a fish in the air in Carlingford Lough. It was taken from the shore at Greenore by Peter Larkin last week. Finn is a solitary bottlenose dolphin who has been resident in Carlingford Lough since April 2020. Bottlenose dolphins can burn as many as 33,000 calories in a day - the equivalent to 25kg of fish. They typically eat 4 - 6% of their body weight daily. Dolphins are wild animals and also a protected species. If disturbed whilst feeding or resting, Finn may, understandably, attempt to protect himself and unintentionally cause injury to those around him. Therefore for the safety and welfare of both the dolphin and members of the public, we would like to call on water users (including swimmers, jet skis and motor boats) frequenting the area around Greenore Point, where Finn is often seen, to please consider watching him from a safe distance, observe an exclusion zone around the area and do not swim in the water with him

Daisies at Silent Valley (26 June 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful display of nature perfection at the Silent Valley in the Mourne Mountains. It was taken by Robert McKee. You can follow Robert on Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography to view more of his stunning photography

The wild flowers in the photo are Oxeye daisies or Dog daisies, known in Irish as 'Nóinín mór'. The Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs were built to gather water from the mountains over most of the High Mournes. The reservoirs are surrounded by mountains and the grounds contain parkland, lakes and ponds. They supply water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. The Mourne Wall which defines the boundary of the 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) catchment area was built between 1904 and 1922. The wall is a listed monument owned and maintained by NI water. It stands up 3m high, has an average width of 1 metre stretching for 35km and crosses 15 mountains. The Silent Valley Mountain Park is open daily with an admission of £5 per car. Lots of lovely trails and picnic spots to enjoy as well as the amazing scenery - highly recommend a visit.

Full moon over the Turf Mountain (19 June 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful shot of the Strawberry Moon from last Tuesday. It was taken by Enda Quinn. Enda had planned to walk up Camlough Mountain to get a photo of the super moon rising above Slieve Foye but as it was overcast all day he decided not to go. He was about to head to bed and took a look out his kitchen window and saw the moon through the cloud. He went outside and got this great shot of the full moon over the Turf Mountain. His camera settings were ISO 100 f11 1.6s zoom 200mm using his Panasonic Lumix S5 and edited in Luminar 4. Enda is a keen photographer from South Armagh who likes landscape and nightscape photography. You can follow him on Instagram @enda.quinnn

The ‘Strawberry Moon’ name has been used by native American Algonquin tribes as well as the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples to mark the ripening of June-bearing strawberries that are ready to be gathered. June’s full moon coincided with a day that the moon reaches its closest point in its orbit around Earth creating a super moon. This is called a ‘perigee moon’ and it appears slightly larger than at other times. There are four supermoons in 2022 – May, June, July and August so here’s hoping for clear skies for the next two.

Carlingford Marina and Lough (12 June 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful view over Carlingford Marina and Lough. It was taken by Robert McQuillan of Sky Lark Fotos. Sky Lark Fotos is a content creation company based in Ardee, Co. Louth which specialises in video and photography services. The company is run by Ross McQuillan. Robert is their photographer and has a keen interest in capturing landscape and seascape photos from our beautiful country. You can follow them on Instagram @skylarkfotos

Carlingord Marina basin is enclosed by stone and concrete breakwaters and within the centre of the marina is a permanently moored concrete ship which was part of 'The Crete Fleet' - a fleet of concrete ships built between 1918 and 1920 when steel and timber supplies were scarce. The Cretegaff was known previously as 'The Lady Boyne' and spent 51 years in Drogheda before being towed to Carlingford when the marina was being constructed in 1988. Carlingford resident Richard Lewis has researched the crete fleet and has an informative website if you want to learn more about these concrete ships.

Sunset from Greencastle (05 June 2022)

Wow - check out this great sunset over Carlingford Lough from Greencastle - this week's #photooftheweek. It was taken by Róisín Sheehan last night. Róisín grew up in Greencastle looking out at this view from her bedroom window; although not appreciating it until she moved away. She loves coming home even in Winter, when the sunsets definitely aren't like the one she witnessed last night!

Greencastle, is a small village/hamlet 3 miles from Cranfield, which lies along the northern shores of Carlingford Lough at the foot of the majestic Mournes in Co. Down. It derives its name from its Norman fortress known by the same name. Recorded as Viride Castrum - ‘green castle’ in early Latin - many believe it is named after the surrounding fertile countryside. Its main attraction is Greencastle Royal Castle which was built by Hugh de Lacy around the same time as King John's castle in Carlingford in the early 13th century. The old wooden pier which is a listed structure was important in the past and was the start of the journey of Mourne potatoes to England. It was owned by the old London and North Western Railways who ran a paddle steamer once daily with passengers and was of great local significance as a ferry terminal between Greencastle and Greenore. This old tradition of passenger/vehicles from Greencastle to Greenore has been revived with the launch of the Carlingford Lough Ferry.

Evening view of Carlingford Lough (29 May 2022)

Our photo of the week features this stunning evening view of Red Valerians and Carlingford Lough framed beautifully between the Mourne and Cooley mountains. It was taken from Warrenpoint by Damien Rooney. Damien is from Warrenpoint and enjoys walking and photography and loves being out and around the Carlingford Lough area. You can follow him on Instagram @damien.rooney

Though this wildflower is commonly known as Red Valerian, the flowers are often pink and sometimes creamy white. A lot of people think it is native to Ireland as it adorns so many of our stone walls and makes a colourful splash along our roadsides especially along our coastal regions. Red Valerian also thrives on the limestone landscape in the Burren where it is regarded as an invasive weed. However, it is originally from the Mediterranean but has adapted very well to the Irish climate. Other common names for the Red Valerian are Jupiter's Beard and Fox's Brush and have even heard it referred to as the Carlingford Wallflower. The Irish name is 'Slán iomaire' - do any of our followers know how it came to be called that - literally meaning 'Goodbye Ridge'?.

Mourne Mountain Rainbow (21 May 2022)

It has been a week of rain, sunshine and rainbows and it is very fitting that our photo of the week is this stunning rainbow over the Mournes taken by Ryan Simpson. Ryan says it was worth the soaking he got on Friday evening to capture this amazing sight. Ryan lives in Warrenpoint but grew up in Kilkeel at the foot of the Mournes. He is an architect and photographer. You can view more of Ryan's stunning photography on Instagram: @ryansimpo, Facebook: @ryansimpsonphoto and Twitter: @rsimpsonphoto

View from Omeath (15 May 2022)

Thanks to James M Carlisle for this stunning photo of Carlingford Lough taken from Omeath. James is a retired civil engineer originally from North Wales but living in Carrickmacross for over 20 years now. James loves to walk extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and we love seeing his beautiful photography. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1.

Nestled between the Cooley Mountains and the shores of Carlingford Lough and opposite Warrenpoint, Rostrevor and the majestic Mourne Mountains, Omeath is a small village between Carlingford and Newry.

The ancient inhabitants of Omeath were known as the Aighneacha and the ancient name of Carlingford Lough - Cuan Snamh Aigeach would appear to be derived from the tribe who inhabited Omeath. It consists of 10 townlands - Ballyoonan, Ballinteskin, Corrakit, Tullagh, Ardaghy, Bavan, Lislea, Cornamucklagh, Knocknagoran and Drummullagh. Omeath has a rich cultural history and was home to many poets, the most well known being Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta. It was a noted Irish speaking area and one of the oldest records of Gaelic football from this era is a poem as Gaelige which translates to "The match of Bavan Meadow". It was played around 1750 and was written by Redmond Murphy, at a time when Irish was widely spoken in the Omeath area. The Irish college Coláiste Bhríde was set up in Omeath in 1912 by Eoin Mac Neill. Coláiste Bhríde was a summer Gaelic college inaugurated in 1912 until it moved to Rannafast in Donegal in 1926. Padraig Pearse visited the college on a number of occasions, and it is believed he wrote some of his famous oration for the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa in Omeath. The last native speaker of Omeath Irish was Anne O’Hanlon who died in 1960 aged 89.

Omeath was a favourite resort for Northern Ireland day-trippers during the 60s and 70s and was often packed out at weekends. The arrival of package holidays and cheaper flights gradually saw the decline in this trade. A small passenger ferry which had been operated by the same family ran for over 100 years between Warrenpoint and Omeath during the Summer months and the infamous Mulligans corner shop at Omeath crossroads opened on July 4th, 1952 and sells everything from souvenirs to ice cream cones and is still on the go - ready to celebrate 70 years of business this July.

Darkness into Light (08 May 2022)

Our photo of the week pays tribute to all who set the alarm for the wee hours and headed out for #darknessintolight in support of suicide prevention. This photograph was taken by Michael Kane and showcases this amazing view looking down on beautiful clouds and a stunning sunrise from Barnavave in the Cooley Mountains. Michael is from Cooley and loves landscape photography and being outdoors. He always has either his phone or Nikon on hand and needless to say he was up early for this one!

The first Darkness into Light took place in 2009 in Phoenix Park, Dublin when about 400 people set off on a maiden 5k darkness into light voyage. It was set up by psychologist and Pieta house founder Joan Freeman as a fundraiser for suicide prevention and counselling. Each year the walk provides an opportunity for people to connect with their local community and to bring hope to people who have been impacted by suicide. Creating a global sunrise moment and joining together to be the light against the dark. Fantastic to see lots of walkers out and about around Carlingford Lough participating in this great event and what a beautiful sunrise they witnessed. In the first event since 2019, thousands of people in over 200 locations in ten countries took part. Tom McEvoy, Funding and Advocacy Manager in Pieta had this to say: -

"It's a remarkable tribute to the community of Ireland who get up in the middle of the night to take part in Darkness into Light and to help somebody coming to our service who they will never know. Our services are completely confidential, so people who come to this service are unknown to those who are helping them and that's a pure tribute to the Irish community and they are helping Pieta continuing with the service, hopefully into the future."

Tall Ship Leader at Narrow Water (01 May 2022)

What a beautiful sight - our photo of the week taken by Jason Ruddy (jason_ruddy87 on Instagram) capturing the 1892 Tall Ship ‘Leader’ as it passed through Narrow Water between Omeath and Warrenpoint last week on route to its new home in Newry.

Silvery Light Maritime Heritage Charity has acquired the 1892 Heritage Tall Ship Leader using funds from a National Lottery Heritage grant of almost £245K. This 130 year old beauty could be seen arriving down Carlingford Lough and Newry Canal last week to its new home at East Quay, Newry’s Albert Basin. This beautiful heritage vessel will provide a unique sailing experience for local youth and community groups. Silvery Light Sailing provide youth workshops where participants practice traditional skills and maintenance of Tall Ships. Leader is a 105ft class B gaff rigged ketch - a rare survivor of a group of fishing vessels known as 'Brixham Trawlers' known for their high speed and efficient design. Despite some alterations from its original spec, Leader still provides an experience akin to the crews that would have manned her when she was a working vessel. Leader fished in UK waters until 1907 when she was then sold to Sweden where she operated off the Swedish west coast. In 1970 she was sold to a Swedish Sea School in Gothenburg and converted to operate as a sail training vessel. In 1985 she became known as 'Lorne Leader' and was used for sailing holidays and charters in Scotland until she was brought back to South Devon in 1996 where she operated in Dartmouth until 1999. In 1999 she became part of the Trinity Sailing charity fleet and returned to Brixham. Trinity Sailing foundation is a registered charity dedicated to supporting the personal development of young people. In 2019 the charity announced that it had to cease its current operations and redefine its mission as its current model was no longer viable. As a result, they put some of their heritage fleet up for sale. In March 2022 Silvery Light Sailing announced their acquisition of Leader who is now settling into her new home in Newry. For further information you can email: Silverylight1884@gmail.com or call (+44) 07968992647.

Mourne Mountain Lambs (24 April 2022)

This week's photo comes from Daniel McEvoy. It was taken just outside his home where he grew up, near Atticall (from the Irish: Áit Tí Chathail, meaning 'place of Cathal's house'), at the foothills of Slieve Muck in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Daniel has never studied photography but it is something that he loves doing and we love seeing his wonderful photos and often share them on our page. Daniel takes all his photos with his phone and there is always something beautiful to photograph around where he lives. We love seeing photos of Daniel's cats and kittens set against the backdrop of some beautiful scenery - this week they were overshadowed by these beautiful lambs.

Beautiful Mourne Countryside (17 April 2022)

A beautiful image of the Mournes - just makes you want to get your hiking boots on and go exploring this stunning scenery on our doorstep. Our photo of the week comes from the Arctic Fox. He has been hiking the Mournes since he was a child and season on season they never fail to offer him some wonderful experiences. He is a massive advocate for mental health and tries to promote this through hiking. This picture was taken as the wall heads west to Slieve Much on the Bann Road, after a descent from Slievenaglogh. You can follow the Arctic Fox on Instagram @arctic__fox7 where he posts some beautiful photography of his adventures

Ballymacdermot Cairn (10 April 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise across the Armagh countryside from beside the Ballymacdermot Cairn, taken by Mark Flynn. Mark is from Newry, is the father of two young girls and his favourite hobby is photography. He loves sunrises and loves to arrive / climb mountains in the darkness just to watch the sky change. He feels so lucky to have all this so close to home and we are all lucky that we get to enjoy his wonderful photography. You can follow Mark on Instagram @mark_flynn_71

Ballymacdermot Court Tomb dates from about 3500BC. It has survived through the years and even withstood an assault by an American tank in WWII which accidentally bumped into it. It is one of the finest, best preserved court tombs in Armagh. It is situated within the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has stunning views of Slieve Gullion, the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains. It is known locally as 'The Cashla' and is also sometimes referred to as 'The Graves' or 'The Fairy Ring'.

Doggy Paddle on Carlingford Lough (02 April 2022)

Little Oscar taking a trip on a stand up paddleboard on Carlingford as sunset last Tuesday. Our photo of the week comes from Robert Mc Kee aka RBM Photography.

You can follow Robert on Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography and view more of his stunning photography

Flagstaff Morning View (27 March 2022)

You can never tire of photos from the beautiful vantage point of the Flagstaff where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea on the left and Slieve Foye looks down over the lough on the right. This photo is from Adrian Hendroff who set his alarm clock for 3.20am last Tuesday to travel down from Dublin to shoot in his own words 'this sublime panorama'. The sky slowly turned pink and then later gave a warm orange glow and some low-lying sea mist give this shot an ethereal look. As well as being one of Ireland's leading outdoor photographers, Adrian is also one of Ireland's leading guidebook writers and is a qualified Mountain Leader. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @adrianhendroff and on facebook 'Adrian Hendroff - Books, Photography & Courses'. You can see more of Adrian's fabulous photos on his website: Fabulous View Points.

Ben Crom from Slieve Binnian (20 March 2022)

Our photo of the week was taken by Natalie McConnell on a quiet weekday in her favourite spot in the Mournes. It is just at the foot of Slieve Binnian looking towards Ben Crom Reservoir - a perfect spot to stop for lunch and take in the views. Natalie moved from Liverpool to Belfast 16 years ago. She works part time for the NHS and is a busy mother of two. She uses hiking and being outdoors as a way to reset and take some time for herself as her eldest who is eleven is profoundly disabled and requires one to one care. She really enjoys getting out with both her children as well and loves to find the best accessible trails. Slieve Gullion is especially good for wheelchairs. You can follow Natalie on Instagram @scouser_on_tour

3 county view (13 March 2022)

Fantastic aerial view looking down over Newry/Clanrye River, Newry Canal and Carlingford Lough. This view features 3 counties - Armagh, Down and Louth with the Mournes on the far left and Slieve Foye and the Cooley Mountains on the right. It was taken by Pak Aerial Media who combines his two passions - aviation and photography to produce some stunning images and videos. You can follow him on Facebook @PakAerialMedia and Instagram - @pakaerialmedia and you can also check out some of his stunning photography on his website https://pakaerialmedia.co.uk

Sharing is caring (06 March 2022)

How cute is our #photooftheweek - this beautiful red squirrel and a Great Tit (so named as it is the largest of the tit family of birds but as you can see is still rather small). It was taken by Rostrevor photographer Louis McNally. Louis is retired and enjoys wildlife photography and has taken some amazing wildlife shots. We love these beautiful very relevant words Louis chose when sharing his photo

"How much wildlife has been lost and destroyed by wars and yet the birds and squirrels appear in our gardens and hedgerows to put a smile on our faces and distract us from the madness that's going on."

Snow on Slieve Foye (26 February 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful fresh snow on the slopes of Slieve Foye. It taken by Ciarán Gormley. Ciarán hails from the Cooley Peninsula and served in the Irish Defence forces as a paramedic. He now runs a busy Acupuncture/Physical therapy clinic in Rathcor. He enjoys athletics, cycling, running and hiking. You can usually find him out on his bike or hiking on the Cooley or Mourne mountains at the weekends. He enjoys photography and loves capturing memories of his hikes. This photograph was taken last Saturday morning on a hike on Slieve Foye with some friends. Not your normal Slieve Foye view! You can follow Ciarán on Instagram @cheeko1970

Haulbowline from Cranfield (20 February 2022)

Our photo of the week is this stunning capture of Haulbowline Lighthouse from Cranfield Beach. It was taken by Ciaran Haren. Ciaran is an amateur photographer based in Belfast and he started photography as a hobby in early 2020 with a passion for seeing more locations in Ireland and beyond. He has always been drawn to the ocean and loves that no two images of it are ever the same making every image unique. Ciaran saw an image posted of Haulbowline Lighthouse and knew it was a location he had to visit. He has been a few times now, in varying conditions and has been able to capture some unique shots of it. This particular image was taken handheld at 400mm, low down to the beach and makes the lighthouse look a lot closer to land than it actually is. The sunset light is subtle, and the birds added greatly to the scene! We love it! You can follow Ciaran on Instagram @compositionsbyciaran and on Facebook Compositions by Ciaran

Haulbowline Lighthouse was built on a wave washed rock which is only visible at low tide. It was designed by George Halpin and first used in 1824 but not fully completed until 1826 at a cost of £28,242. It was converted to electric power in 1965 and was the first automated Irish offshore lighthouse. In 2008 the revolving signal was replaced with a flashing warning and in 2009 the fog signal was permanently disestablished.

Aurora Borealis over Spelga Dam (13 February 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful display of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over Spelga Dam in the Mournes. It was taken by Robert McKee. In Robert's own words

"On Thursday night past, I ventured to Spelga Reservoir on the rare off chance of capturing the Aurora Borealis. After standing in the freezing cold for about an hour and a half I was about to give up but then the sky changed and a few flickers started. I quickly took several long exposure photos and was blown away with the stunning colours of the Northern Lights the camera had picked up. An amazing photography experience in the beautiful Mourne Mountains!"

You can follow Robert on Instagram @r_b_m_photography and facebook RBM Photography and view more of his stunning photography

An aurora is a natural light display in the sky that is caused by particles from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field. They are called 'Aurora' (the Latin word for dawn) after the Roman Goddess of the Dawn. The Northern Lights also know as the Aurora Borealis, appear in a clear night sky as swirling rivers of greenish-blue light. You can see an explanation of how they appear in this short article How do the Northern lights appear

Reach for the sun (06 February 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beauty from Slieve Binnian which was taken by Laura McGuinness. Laura is from Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Through the tough times of lockdown, Laura came to believe that this time was given to us to fully embrace nature in all its glory and take the chance to discover so much more of Ireland - all the beauty it has to offer that she failed to see before. She combines her two hobbies - photography and hiking - and is forever in her happy place, getting lost in the moment, seeking to capture the true beauty of everything as she sees it. Her wish is for others to feel and see that too through her pictures. The Mournes have been a very special place and a saviour for Laura over the last 2 years and she is very grateful she has discovered and enjoyed them so much recently. This picture was taken on Slieve Binnian on 'Blue Monday'. It was Laura's first solo sunrise hike of the New Year. She didn't know it was known as Blue Monday until she heard it on the radio on the journey down. It made the hike even more special. In her own words

"To see that sun come up and feel nothing but the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, I truely felt like the luckiest girl in the world! There was nothing blue about that Monday, only the skies"

You can follow Laura on Instagram @red_snapper22

A bird's eye view (30 January 2022)

Our photo of the week is this spectacular bird's eye view of the majestic Mourne Mountains. It was taken from the seat of an Easyjet flight by Brian Mason. Not a recent photo but new to us this week. Brian is from Armagh and is a keen amateur photographer with an interest in street and landscape images and is a member of Banbridge Camera club. You can see more of Brian's lovely work on his website: brianmasonphotography.co.uk, Instagram : brianmasonphotography and his flickr site brian.mason32.

Sun sitting on Haulbowline (23 January 2022)
Misty view at Albert Basin (16 January 2022)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful photo of the Albert Basin looking towards Slieve Foye. It was taken by Anne Sands. Anne lives in Rostrevor and is a professional musician from the well known Sands Family. Anne also paints and is the proprietor of The Sands Bed and Breakfast in Rostrevor. Anne had driven to the Quays in Newry to do some shopping and was distracted by the light and mist by the quay. It only lasted for a few minutes but as you can see, Anne managed to capture the best of it. Anne intends to get out the canvas and acrylics or watercolours and hopefully do it justice and we look forward to seeing her painting.

The Albert Basin was named after Queen Victoria's husband and was built between 1842 and 1850. Up until the 1950s the Albert Basin was a hive of industry. Joseph Fisher & Sons Ltd established a ship broking business in 1852 and their offices and coal yards were located there. The ship canal was closed in 1974 and trade was transferred to Warrenpoint. The Quay's shopping centre was built on the site of the old coal yards when the Fisher's premises were demolished in the 1990s. There are plans in place to transform the Albert Basin site into a new 15 acre state of the art city park for Newry. The Albert Basin Park Project is made up of ordinary people from the local Newry & Mourne area. They want the people of Newry to collectively reimagine and reinvent this abandoned space into an exciting and vibrant destination - a waterfront development that capitalises on the local community's assets, while highlighting the physical, cultural and social attributes that define Newry.

Sunrise and Snow (09 January 2022)
Carlingford at Night (02 January 2022)

Our photo of the week is this great night time shot of Carlingford Harbour featuring an illuminated King John's Castle. It was taken by Colm O Laoi. Colm is a skipper and amateur photographer, originally from Dublin, living in Brightlingsea, Essex. He has been coming to Carlingford to visit his in-laws for years but hadn't been in the area for almost two and a half years due to Covid. He is delighted to be back in such a beautiful part of the world and has taken some great pictures on his visit here. You can follow him on Instagram: @colmsphotos, Facebook: @colmsphotos and Twitter: @virtualcolm

Sunset above the clouds (26 December 2021)

Mountains floating above the clouds resulted in some incredible views over the last week. This weather phenomenon known as cloud or temperature inversion occurs when the temperature is warmer higher up than it is lower down. Colder air at the lower level traps mist and fog and produces these beautiful cloud landscapes. Incredible vistas of a sea of cloud with mountain peaks peeping out of the mist were on display. For those who didn't witness this in person, luckily there were lots of hikers and photographers sharing some of their stunning photography capturing this phenomenon.

Our photo of the week is this sunset above the clouds view by Stephen Dunbar. Stephen drove through low cloud and arrived at Ott car park and made his way up Slieve Doan in the Mournes and witnessed and captured this stunning vista. The view was so clear at the top you could see for miles in every direction. Check out more of Stephen's stunning photography on his Instagram account Stephen Dunbar Photography - @dunbar0191

Sunset over Haulbowline (19 December 2021)

Our photo of the week features these beautiful sunset skies over Haulbowline Lighthouse on Carlingford Lough. It was taken last Wednesday by @conors_captures (Instagram)

Haulbowline Lighthouse was built on a wave washed rock which is only visible at low tide. It was designed by George Halpin and first used in 1824 but not fully completed until 1826 at a cost of £28,242. It was converted to electric power in 1965 and was the first automated Irish offshore lighthouse. In 2008 the revolving signal was replaced with a flashing warning and in 2009 the fog signal was permanently disestablished.

Storm Barra (12 December 2021)

A fantastic shot of #stormbarra in action at Gyles Quay captured by our own Peter Larkin. According to Louth weather, the wave size on the day of the storm were near the top as rough seas go. He calculated the height of some of the waves breaking over the pier at just over 50ft / 15m. 

Descending Slieve Commedagh (05 December 2021)

This week's photo is from Ciaran Mathers - he stopped to take in this stunning scenery while descending Slieve Commedagh in the Mournes last Sunday. The Mourne wall leads the way over the snowy tops of Corragh and Slievenaglogh to the mighty Slieve Bearnagh. Spot the hikers taking in the slippery slopes. Ciaran lives in Newry and is an amateur photographer. He loves nothing better than grabbing his camera and heading out to try and capture something special. He started hiking properly last year and has been hooked ever since. In Ciaran's own words:

"Nothing beats clearing the head, than going for a walk or a hike. With views like this you can forget what is going on in the world for those few minutes. Moments like these we cherish and that keeps us going"

You can follow Ciaran on Instagram @ciaran_mathers_images.

Bellurgan Boat Reflections (28 November 2021)
Sunrise from the Peace Stone (21 November 2021)

This week's photo is this beautiful sunrise taken from the Peace Stone, Warrenpoint by Judith Campbell.  Judith grew up in Warrenpoint and returned to live there 3 years ago. She has 2 dogs - a 7 year old Russell and a new 5 month old pup Archie - so she is up early every morning and walks them before work. Judith absolutely loves living in Warrenpoint and when walking around Sea View with the dogs she looks forward to what our beautiful Lough will treat us to, as every morning it is quite different and ever changing. 

Judith and her partner Gary also enjoy hiking in the Mournes, cycling and swimming at ‘Sandybottom’, paddle boarding and kayaking in the Lough, so they are definitely making great use of what is available on their doorstep. Judith has always had an interest in photography but at the moment just uses the phone for snaps! The Peace Stone is a granite standing stone on the promenade at Warrenpoint that was dedicated to peace as part of millennium peace promoting projects in August 2000.

Seatruck at Sunset (14 November 2021)

This week's photo features the Seatruck Precision at Sunset and was taken by John McCavitt. John is an historian. His most recent book was about General Ross whose monument is a feature of the skyline on Carlingford Lough. John suffered a brain injury eight years ago and has been experimenting with new things to replace some parts of his life that he has lost. Photography is one of them. His photos regularly feature on the BBC NI and TG4 weather broadcasts. He took some “Photo express” classes with the Clanrye group in Newry and has recently joined the Point Camera club. John took a Spanish documentary team to the Flagstaff last weekend to show them the route that Lord Mountjoy took to Dundalk from Newry via Narrow Water in 1600 rather than fight Hugh O'Neill at the Gap of the North. Before it was called Carlingford Lough it was called the harbour of the ford of the horses i.e. Narrow Water. By the middle of the 9th century there was a large Danish settlement there. In 852 a fleet of 160 Norwegian vessels sailed into the Lough and defeated a fleet of 70 Danish vessels.  

It is fitting that our photo of the week features Seatruck Precision as we would also like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to Captain Steve Cheeseman.  Steve has been the captain of Seatruck Precision and is leaving to take up a new position on the Dover - Calais route with Irish Ferries. He has 10 days left with Seatruck. We will miss his wonderful photography catching some amazing moments on our beautiful Carlingford Lough. Best of luck in your new venture Steve.

Slieve Foye and the stars (07 November 2021)

This week’s photo features a starry, starry night at Ballinteskin, Omeath. It was taken by Patricia Mc Ateer. Patricia lives in Omeath and is an artist, mainly painting Irish megalithic and mythical  art. She started taking photos a few years ago, and is learning as she goes.  In Patricia’s own words :

 “It's so beautiful here on the Cooley Peninsula everything from tiny bees to majestic landscapes, and of course little light pollution for starry nights"

You can follow Patricia on Instagram @irishmythicalartist and check out her website: https://www.irishmythicalartist.com/

Tollymore Steps (31 October 2021)

Our photo of the week comes from John Wishart. It features the famous stepping stones at Tollymore Forest Park.  John is the Head of History and Politics at Belfast High School. They have a 6 year old girl and a 9 year old boy who is autistic. They try to push their boundaries with dealing with the autism, getting out as much as possible and finding the beauty on their doorstep.  Experiencing the different seasons in all their glory is one of their favourite activities and a great sensory experience with the crunch of the leaves and the myriad of colours.  John took this shot of the Tollymore stepping stones on a recent adventure with the children.  The colour and shades of the leaves and the running waters is always magical at this time of year.  You can follow John on Instagram @johnrwishart.

Tollymore Forest Park is located in Bryansford, Co. Down and has stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Mourne mountains.  The park was once dominated by Bryansford House which was built in the 1730s and remodelled twice in the 19th century. Sadly, the house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1952.  The park was purchased from the Roden Estate by the Northern Ireland government in 1941 and was officially opened to the public in 1955. The Shimna River flows through the park and there are no less than 16 bridges - the oldest dating back to 1726.  With the backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, the rivers and the beautiful forest trees, you can see why the producers of Game of Thrones chose this location to film some of the famous TV show.

The Lough (24 October 2021)

Thanks to James M Carlisle for these stunning views of Carlingford Lough and the Mournes from the Cooley Mountains a few days ago. 

James is a retired civil engineer. He is from North Wales originally but has lived in Carrickmacross this last 22 years. He walks extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley's and shares some amazing photographs. 

You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1

The Mournes (17 October 2021)

This week’s photo is from an amazing video of the Mournes from Richard Watson. Originally from Lisburn,  Richard now lives in Portrush and is a  professional commercial and landscape photographer.

 In Richard’s own words. :

“Filmed over a full year - take a breath taking timelapse journey through the 4 seasons in the Mourne Mountains, some one of the most scenic on the Island of Ireland. 

‘Mourne’ explores the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Kingdom of Mourne. Shot over a full year, from September 2020 to September 2021, I set myself the ambitious aim to capture the most comprehensive timelapse study of the Mourne Mountains and one that felt true to the challenging conditions the landscape presents.

The project involved over 100 treks with a weight of 20kg and 40 wild camps many in sub zero conditions. I've never been as cold and battered by the elements. The driving rain. Wind strong enough to blow you off your feet. Hiking in snow up to your waist. The year felt like a battle. I like to think the mountains won.

It really has been a labour of love, spending countless hours capturing the slow transition of the seasons. Watching the land, textures and colours slowly change, the clouds caressing and spilling over mountain peak and valleys.

In a year where the world paused, Covid and lockdown seemed to bring everything to a grinding halt. Time seemed to stand still yet move so fast and it seemed fitting to focus on time itself. So I threw myself into this long-term project. It felt ironic to slow down to a stop, sitting for hours on end behind the lens watching the landscape transform, only to then speed it up into this 6 minute film.

2020 changed our perception of what is really important in life and what we take for granted. What is superfluous, what truly matters. When all we felt we had lost was the simple and painful longing to be outside. There was no better place on earth to feel isolated.

At times I've never felt so alive. Others I’ve never felt so alone. Perfectly alone.”

You can watch the full video clip here: https://youtu.be/IbcYx97mTww  and you can check out more of Richard’s beautiful work:-

www.facebook.com/richardwatsonphoto

www.instagram.com/richardwatsonphoto

www.richardwatsonphoto.com

www.richardwatsonfineart.com

Autumn at Kilbroney (10 October 2021)

This week's photo is from the beautiful Fairy Glen in Kilbroney Forest Park. It was taken by Dermot Mathers. Dermot lives in Warrenpoint and is a runner, cyclist and adventure racer, who enjoys taking pictures whilst out training. His playground and the place he loves the most is the Mourne Mountains - either scrambling up Bearnagh or running up Slieve Martin. You can follow Dermot on Instagram @run2explore365.

Kilbroney Forest Park is situated in Rostrevor, Co. Down and offers a wide range of activities and facilities including a children’s play area, picnic areas and a café as well as a caravan and camping site. You can also drive to the upper level carpark and take a short hike up to the famous Cloughmore stone. The boulder is estimated to weigh over 50 tonnes. Local legend claims that Fionn MacCumhaill threw the stone across the lough while fighting a rival giant. Well worth the hike up to see the magnificent views. You will find plenty of other beautiful walking trails through old oak forests, the fairy glen and Narnia as well as the well photographed 'Kodak Corner'. The Naria legends are interpreted along a short trail entered like Narnia through a Wardrobe and is very popular with families. Kilbroney Forest Park is also home to Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails hosting a 27km red trail and a 19km black trail. And if you do visit, make sure you take a look at the ancient Holm Oak tree (known as 'Old Homer' and over 200 years old) which was chosen as Northern Ireland Tree of the Year in 2016. It stands inside the main Fairy Glen entrance to the park.

Silent Valley View (03 October 2021)

Our photo of the week is this stunning photo from the Silent Valley, nestled in the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. It was taken by Anderson Dee. You can follow Anderson on Instagram at @andersondeephotography

The Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs were built to gather water from the mountains over most of the High Mournes. The reservoirs are surrounded by mountains and the grounds contain parkland, lakes and ponds. They supply water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. The Mourne Wall which defines the boundary of the 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) catchment area was built between 1904 and 1922. It is a listed monument owned and maintained by NI water. It stands up 3m high, has an average width of 1 metre stretching for 35km and crosses 15 mountains. The Mourne Wall Restoration project recently completed the rebuilding of 600 areas which had collapsed and 2000m that required repairs.

Lú, God of Light (26 September 2021)

This week's photo of the week highlights an amazing piece of art from an incredible artist.

“We had an idea, Seek Dundalk made it happen! Smug exceeded everyone's expectations with his monumental talent! Not only is it the tallest in Ireland, It's definitely the best... in our humble opinion” – Crowne Plaza Dundalk

THE MURAL
The latest mural to grace the urban walls of Dundalk is the brainchild of the Seek Dundalk Festival and is believed to be Ireland's tallest mural standing at 135ft from top to bottom. Painted by urban artist genius – Smug – it depicts Lú, God of Light, War and Master of the Arts holding his spear with his faithful hound Fáil Inis at his feet. Lú (or Lugh) is one of the most prominent Gods in Irish mythology and was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann - a supernatural race that resided in the Otherworld but that were able to interact with those living in the Real World. County Louth / Contae Lú was named after him, as is the annual Lughnasa festival that is celebrated in August each year. Son of Dundalk, Cú Chulainn, is said to be the son of Lú and his mortal reincarnation. Lú’s faithful hound Fáil Inis was invincible in battle, caught every wild beast it encountered, and could magically change any running water it bathed in into wine.

THE ARTIST
Australian born, Glasgow based artist Sam Bates - otherwise known as SmugOne (Smug) is the amazing artist behind this latest mural. Sam is known for his outstanding photo-realism street art murals and uses primarily spray cans to create amazing highly technical large-scale wall pieces. Some of the greatest modern art sits outside for all to see and Smug has created an incredible portfolio showcasing his extraordinary talent. To be able to produce something at this scale is incredible and almost needs to be seen to be believed. It has been great following the progress of this from start to finish.

SEEK DUNDALK
SEEK Dundalk is an arts, heritage and culture festival aimed at attracting some of the world's best outdoor muralists and urban artists to Dundalk, to help promote the town's heritage, culturally and artistically, refocussing the area as a vibrant hub for creativity. It was launched in 2019 and is the brainchild of Dundalk Graffiti Artist and Graphic Designer, Barry Finnegan - better known as Omin, and Dundalk Town Centre Commercial Manager Martin McElligott. Omin and Martin conceived the idea of SEEK, believing that their home town was the perfect canvas for an outdoor art gallery. The pair invited Sarah Daly of Creative Spark, local centre for creativity and innovation, to come on board as a co-producer of the festival and the team built on this collaboration of arts, community and enterprise to develop the inaugural SEEK festival. Over the last few years, amazing murals have been created, bringing aspects of Dundalk’s history to life. There is more to come as part of this year’s festival with artist Tellas from Sardinia coming at the beginning of October.

This art is free for everyone to enjoy! Crowne Plaza Dundalk ask that if you are taking pictures for commercial / professional / business reasons you must always ask for permission first from them, the artist and Seek Dundalk.

Sunrise at Haulbowline (19 September 2021)

This week's photo is from Craig McCarthy. Craig has always had an interest in photography but has only taken it up seriously this year. He has lived in Co. Louth for the last 20 years and as a child used to go camping in Carlingford. Craig was out with his friend Adam last week to capture some sunrise photos of the lighthouse when the opportunity to capture this photo came about. We love it! You can follow Craig on Instagram @craig.mccarthy.750

The Haulbowline lighthouse was completed in 1824 after a request was made in 1817 to replace the 1803 Cranfield Point Lighthouse. The Cranfield Lighthouse was considered to be in a poor position to mark dangerous rocks at the entrance to Carlingford Lough. It is 34m (112 ft) in height and the main light is 32m above high water. It serves to guide vessels through the entrance channel into Carlingford Lough. It was built on a semi-submerged rock which is exposed only at low tide with fast currents running around it and was considered quite a feat at the time. It was painted white and remained white until 1946 when it was changed to its natural stone colour. From 1824 until 1922 the Keepers and their families lived in the Cranfield Point Lighthouse dwelling. New dwellings were built at Greencastle in 1922 and subsequently sold after the light was automated. The light was converted to electric and made unwatched automatic on 17 March 1965. The fog signal was permanently disestablished on 8 January 2009 and to this day is still missed by many locals.

Milky Way over Greencastle (12 September 2021)

This week's photo comes from Robert McKee and is a stunning shot of the Milky Way over Greencastle Royal Castle. Robert had been planning this shot for quite a while and found the perfect day of the year last week when everything lined up and the skies were clear to capture the magnificent Milky Way. Greencastle Royal Castle is set in a stunning location with beautiful views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough. It was built by Hugh de Lacy around the same time as King John's castle in Carlingford in the early 13th century. Due to various attacks on the castle over time, the current castle is a mix of 13th – 16th century additions and changes.

You can purchase prints of Robert's impressive portfolio from his Facebook page RBM Photography. You can also find him on Instagram: @robertmckee17.

Moody Skies at the Flagstaff (05 September 2021)

This week's photo features one of the most stunning views in Ireland - the view over Carlingford Lough from the Flagstaff, Co. Armagh. It was taken by Vaidotas Maneikis. Vaidotas fell in love with the area, some 16 years ago, when he moved from Lithuania to Drogheda. His passion is to go out and visit local areas, as well as all of Ireland. He loves capturing sunrises and sunsets and photographing them - particularly along the coast, as no two are the same. Vaidotas's photography helps us to really look at what is right under our noses and appreciate it more. You can follow Vaidotas on Instagram @vaidotas_maneikis and/or Facebook @PauseTimePhotography and check out his website www.pausetimephotography.com.

The Flagstaff Viewing point/Barr an Fheadáin lies just over the border from Omeath, Co. Louth, in County Armagh and offers fantastic views over Carlingford Lough as the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea and Slieve Foye in the Cooley Mountains rises on the other side. The Irish name for Flagstaff is Barr an Fheadáin - which means ‘Top of the Water course’. It is said that a flag used to be raised on the Flagstaff to inform the pilot in Warrenpoint or Omeath of the approach of a ship.

Mourne Mountain Fox (29 August 2021)

Our photo of the week is this once in a lifetime shot from Ryan Simpson. Ryan lives in Warrenpoint but grew up in Kilkeel at the foot of the Mournes. He is an architect and photographer. Ryan had an amazing encounter with a fox during a night of camping on Buzzards Roost in the Mourne Mountains last week. The fox was more than happy to pose for photographs as Ryan snapped away. This photo has gone viral and currently has more than 30K likes on Twitter. You can view more of Ryan’s stunning photography on Instagram: @ryansimpo, Facebook: @ryansimpsonphoto and Twitter: @rsimpsonphoto

Slieve Foye Horses (22 August 2021)

The beautiful Slieve Foye horses feature as our photo of the week. It was taken by Sarah McEneaney, a 44 year old mother of one living in Edentubber, Co. Louth. She has been running and hiking for a number of years now and loves the Cooley Mountains. She takes lots of pictures when she is out and about. This picture was taken while Sarah drove up to the mast to do a litter pick. This herd of horses were right next to the Turf Road and posed for Sarah to take this picture with her camera phone.

Following the kayak (15 August 2021)

Our photo of the week is this great photo of Finn following Damien Wynne in his kayak at Greenore. Damien is originally from Dundalk and moved to Greenore a few years ago. He has a keen interest in the outdoors and regularly  kayaks on Carlingford Lough and cycles along the Carlingford Lough Greenway. He is active in the Greenore Coast Guard unit. Whilst his mate Andrew took this photo, Damien’s an amateur photographer and often  sends us in some great photos to share with our followers.

Moonset by Haulbowline (08 August 2021)
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Isn't nature incredible. A beautiful moonset of July's full moon from the talented lens of Mark Duffy, a landscape and commercial photographer based out of Dundalk, Co. Louth. Mark used the PhotoPills app to plan the timing of this great shot taken from Cranfield Beach looking towards Haulbowline Lighthouse on Carlingford Lough. The moon rises and sets every day, just like the sun. The full moonrise and moonset can be spectacular to view and like the sun, visibility is at the mercy of the weather conditions. Unlike the sun however, there are only a few days in each month where you can view it. At full Moon, the Moon is opposite the Sun and 12 hours behind it - so the Moon rises as the Sun is setting and it sets in the morning as the sun is rising.

You can view more of Mark's stunning photography on his website and social media channels:-

Website: www.markduffyphotography.com
Facebook: MarkDuffyPhotography
Instagram: markduffyphotography
Twitter: @markduffyfoto

Haulbowline Lighthouse (01 August 2021)

Our photo of the week features the beautiful Haulbowline Lighthouse on Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Mark Rowan. Mark likes to explore Northern Ireland and show it off on his Instagram account through his digital eye. He also likes to explore the whole island of Ireland to show everyone the beautiful scenery that's on our doorstep waiting to be discovered. You can follow Mark on Instagram Northern Ireland Traveller

The Haulbowline Lighthouse is externally illuminated, each night from 9:30pm to 12:30am throughout the whole month of August. This year, the illumination is in honour of all those who have lost their lives at sea.

Sunset from Greencastle (25 July 2021)

What a week of sunsets! Our photo of the week is this beautiful vision over Carlingford Lough shared by John McCavitt. John is an historian. His most recent book was about General Ross whose monument is a feature of the skyline on Carlingford Lough. John suffered a brain injury eight years ago and has been experimenting with new things to replace some parts of his life that he has lost. Photography is one of them. His photos regularly feature on the BBC NI and TG4 weather broadcasts. Recently, he has been taking “Photo express” classes with the Clanrye group in Newry. John’s own phone ran out of battery so the photo was taken by his son’s girlfriend, Emma on a family tour of the Mournes on Friday evening. John is definitely taking some credit because he knew there was going to be an amazing sunset and he knew where a really good place to capture it would be, Greencastle. We love it!

Carlingford Reflections (18 July 2021)

Our photo of the week comes from Noreen Mack and features this stunning reflection at Carlingford Harbour taken earlier in the week. Noreen bought her first camera just 2 years ago with the sole purpose of photographing her decorative cakes in the hope of getting published in cake magazines. But very quickly she fell in love with landscape photography and hasn't stopped teaching herself since. She finds it a truly wonderful and rewarding hobby. You can see more of Noreen's photography on her facebook page Noreen's Ireland.

Little and Large (11 July 2021)

Little and Large - great photo from Martin McCaul featuring the Seatruck Precision, a small boat and the Newry River Range Lighthouses. Martin took an interest in photography when he lived in New Zealand. He lived there for 28 years but it was actually on a holiday back to Newry in 1985 that photography became more of a passion. Martin returned to Ireland in 1992 and continued taking photos. Martin continues to try and get out everyday if possible with his camera to combine a bit of walking exercise along with photography. He particularly enjoys the mornings as they are quiet and give plenty of time to relax without worrying about current issues.

‘Newry River Range Front’ and ‘Newry River Range Rear’ - or Newry River Range Leading Lights as they are known are situated along the shore at Omeath, opposite Narrow Water Castle and Keep just before Ferry Wood. They are a pair of lighthouses built to look like ancient round towers — one 16 ft/5m tall and one 49 ft/15m tall. Both lights are the property of the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and were erected during the late 1880s by Allan MacDonnell, engineer of the Newry Navigation Company. They are currently solar powered and still in operation as navigational aids. SEATRUCK PRECISION is a freight Ro-Ro Cargo that was built in 2012. It travels daily from Heysham in the UK to Warrenpoint.

Greer's Quay, Omeath (04 July 2021)

Our photo of the week is this stunning image at Greer's Quay, Omeath. It was taken by James M Carlisle. James is a retired civil engineer. He is from North Wales originally but has lived in Carrickmacross for over 20 years. He walks extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains and takes some wonderful photographs along the way. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and Instagram @mckenzief1

Greer's Quay, Ballyoonan, Omeath was commissioned to be built by Robert Walker Greer, a local landlord, in the 1840s to help develop Carlingford Lough's fishing industry. Robert also built the nearby Ballyoonan House (St. Michael's College, Tain Holiday village) as an elegant mansion situated on 14 acres on Carlingford Lough. He planned to spend his retirement there. Along came the DNGR (Dundalk, Newry, Greenore) railway in the 1870s, which puffed and steamed right along his property and upset the peace and quiet of his beautiful home, so he took off. He passed away unexpectedly in 1876 at his town residence, Leeson Park, Dublin.

Greer's Quay is an isolated pier which dries out completely at low water, but 1.5 metres is always available at the end of the pier, so it is possible for vessels to land here at all tides. At high tide the pier has 4 metres of water. The stone-built pier is adjacent to the Carlingford Lough Greenway which runs along the route of the former DNGR railway.

Kodak Corner (27 June 2021)

Check out the view from Kodak Corner in Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor. This beautiful scene was captured by Matthew Murtagh. Matthew is from Newcastle and is a local personal trainer. He took this picture last Sunday on a spin over to Kilbroney. He didn't know much about Kodak corner but he had seen this scenic spot in a picture recently and wanted to find it and see it for himself. He wasn't disappointed. After a bit of walking he stumbled across it and photographed it with this fantastic light. Simply stunning.

Sunrise at the Waterworks (20 June 2021)

Our photo of the week was taken by talented photographer Jason Ruddy, who lives in Warrenpoint. It features a beautiful sunrise at Donaghaguy Reservoir.

The owner of Narrow Water Castle and the landlord of Warrenpoint in the late 19th century was Major Hall. He donated 7 acres of land to provide drinking water and sanitation to the town and hence the Warrenpoint Waterworks (now known as Donaghaguy Reservoir) was opened in 1876. As part of an upgrade scheme, six new build and fit fishing stands were constructed on the lake and perimeter pathways were improved in 2018. There is a lovely walk around the lake with several angling areas and the lake is well stocked with trout. A fishing permit is required.

Follow Jason on Twitter (@jasonruddy04) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87) to view more of his stunning photography.

Rainbows and Horses (13 June 2021)

Our photo of the week features this beautiful scene from the daughter of Michelle Donnelly aka Shells Driftwood. After failing to catch up with this galloping horse, she sent in the photo to us with the hope of sending it on to the horse rider. She took the photo after a walk along the shore from Rampark to Templetown Beach and the picture was captured right after the quickest of sun showers.

Shell's Driftwood is a local business based by the shore in Rampark, Lordship. Michelle creates handmade, personalized gifts using driftwood and reclaimed materials from our beautiful beaches. Michelle personalizes each piece using pyrography. You can see more of Michelle's art on her Facebook and Instagram pages: @shellsdriftwoodcarlingford

Templetown Beach takes it name from the crusading "Knights Templar". It is in a beautiful setting on the Cooley Peninsula protected on each side by rock promontories.

Sunset Kayak on Carlingford Lough (06 June 2021)

This week’s photo - a little slice of Heaven - is a sunset kayak on Carlingford Lough. Stephen Rooney and his best friend Declan took to the lough on the first day of Summer earlier in the week and were rewarded with the most amazing sunset to see out the evening. They set off from Greencastle and headed to Greenore. Many curious seals followed them and kept them company the whole journey. In Stephen’s own words:-

“The troubled waters of Carlingford Lough rarely rest so calmly - it was mesmerising and felt like we were floating around in a dream. How lucky we are to call this glacial fjord home”

Stephen is a young award winning artist from Dunavil near Cranfield, Co. Down. Have a look at his twitter account (@artistrooney) to see some of his wonderful photography, videos and paintings.

The Flower Moon over Carlingford Lough (30 May 2021)

Our photo of the week features the beautiful flower moon rising over Carlingford Lough. It was taken from Warrenpoint front shore by Gerard McCreesh. Gerard is a self employed electrician from Bessbrook, County Armagh. He has been living in Warrenpoint for the last 21 years. He took up photography with Point Camera Club along with his brother in law Paul where he recently completed his Level 3 Photography at Newry Tech to further enhance his skills and love of photography. He has learned so much from his club members and has developed a real passion for photography as well as having a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of where he is from, especially Carlingford Lough. He believes that a photo is a moment in time that is captured forever and tells a story of which he enjoys.

The May full moon coincided with it being at its closest to Earth during its orbit - this makes it appear larger and brighter. It also coincided with a lunar eclipse which was not visible in Europe. So the full title for this beautiful moon is the Super Flower Blood Moon. Luckily the weather was clear and it rose majestically for all to see.

Pier jumping in Gyles Quay (23 May 2021)

This week's photo comes from Robin Barnes who captured this pier jumper at Gyles Quay earlier in the week. Robin is a hobbyist photographer who is now retired and is enjoying the extra time he has and is using it to improve his photographic skills. The Cooley Peninsula never fails to provide opportunties for some great photos and Robin really missed coming up from Termonfeckin to the Peninsula during lockdown. According to Robin - even if you don't get the photo, the trip is always worth it! We couldn't agree more. You can follow Robin on Facebook and Instagram at Orbee Digital.

Views from the Turf Road, Omeath (16 May 2021)

This great view was captured by Rosie Ryan aka Eclectic Eyes. Rosie is originally from County Down and has always had an interest in photography. She bought her first proper camera 3 years ago and takes it with her everywhere she goes. She finds that the best shots are the unexpected or unplanned ones. The turf road is one of Rosie's favourite places to be because the weather can be so unpredictable up there. That along with the terrain and the simply stunning view of Carlingford Lough, make it a very special place to photograph. You can follow Rosie on Instagram eclectic.eyes and Facebook Eclectic Eyes

The turf road from Ardaghy to Clermont mountain was constructed in a few short months in 1941 when Ireland faced a serious fuel crisis. It is well worth the trip out to Ardaghy, Omeath and a drive up for the views alone. You can also easily trek to the Clermont Cairn, a Neolithic burial cairn. You can read more about the history of the turf road in this informative document compiled by Seamus Murphy:- http://bit.ly/turfroad

Sunrise over Haulbowline (09 May 2021)

This brilliant photo capturing sunrise over Haulbowline Lighthouse on Carlingford Lough, earlier in the week, was taken by James Grandfield. James is originally from a little fishing village called Portmagee, situated on the south west coast of Co. Kerry. Photography is his passion. James started taking photographs from a young age and he never stopped. He shoots wildlife and landscapes mainly, and lately had been capturing a lot of sunrises and lighthouses.

James grew up beside the sea and has always had a fascination with lighthouses. Every time he heads home, which sadly isn't very often due to Covid, he always heads for a walk to the Valentia Island lighthouse. Irish lighthouse construction and locations are so unique, and to think of the workmanship involved back in the day to build them in such barren and inhospitable environments and conditions leaves him in awe.

James makes use of an app on his phone that gives him a location for sunrise or sunset at a certain point or location - in this case, the beautiful Haulbowline lighthouse. It pointed him in the direction of where he needed to stand with his camera to get the sunrise, but checking the weather beforehand was a must. James is very pleased with how the shot turned out and will visit again in the near future to photograph more in the area.

You can follow James on Instagram at @james.grandfield and you can buy prints on his facebook page James Grandfield Photography.

Happy Anniversary Finn (02 May 2021)

Around this time marks the 1st anniversary of the first sighting of Finn, our Carlingford Lough Dolphin. In recognition of this we dedicate our photo of the week to Finn. This great photo was taken by Owen Connolly in March 2021 and shows Finn jumping out of the water near Haulbowline Lighthouse.

A lone dolphin was first spotted between Omeath, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor on the 23rd of April last year by Declan Carroll. The next few sightings were off Greenore and at that time the dolphin had a plastic bag stuck on its flipper. Luckily a local man on his boat was to remove the plastic bag after a number of hours and who knows what might have become of Finn if he had not been able to do this.

The dolphin was still around at the end of June, and there were a number of different names doing the rounds. For ease of reference, we decided to run a vote to decide between the 2 most popular names at the time - Bobby and Finn. He was also known as Henry in Rostrevor as he appeared when local pub landlord and sailor, Henry Kavanagh passed away. An impressive 2.7K votes were cast and the final tally was 1,800 votes to Finn and 931 votes to Bobby. Finn seemed like a good choice as we didn't know at the time if Finn was male or female and the name suits both genders.

Finn has gained such popularity that a new children's book, 'Down at the Dock', written by Lori Henninger Smith is launching soon. It is aimed at educating children about marine life and plastic and other man-made pollution that impacts on our seas and oceans. It is so important to be aware of the dangers of single use plastic to our wildlife and sea creatures. If you see any along our coast, please do pick it up.

We also wanted to use this opportunity to reshare the advice compiled for us by Liz Sandeman of marineconnection.org. We have a one page PDF of this information on our website - feel free to download, print or share.

Finn is a solitary male bottlenose dolphin, a species usually found in large family/social groups known as pods, it is therefore a mystery to where this lone dolphin has come from. Bottlenose are the most familiar of the dolphin species, which have a near-global distribution (except the polar regions) with coastal populations entering into bays, estuaries and river mouths. As Finn currently lives in Irish waters, he is protected under the Wildlife Act (1976) and also under a number of international directives and agreements which Ireland is signatory to.

With warmer months approaching and lighter evenings ahead, Finn’s presence will undoubtedly lead to an increase in marine craft and therefore naturally lead to an increase in the likelihood of an encounter with the dolphin, who is by nature a sociable animal. Marine Connection is calling for all water users (boat/jet ski owners, wind surfers, kayakers swimmers and divers) in the Carlingford Lough area to be vigilant, and if they spot the dolphin, allow him his space. Disrupting his resting or feeding times can negatively impact Finn causing a “disruption of natural behavioural patterns" and as he would usually burn up to 33,000 calories a day —equivalent to 25 kilograms of fish— he needs time to do so. Please keep your distance, show him respect and be responsible.

With bottlenose dolphins usually living up to 50 years of age, Finn could remain in the area for many years, similar to Fungie the Dingle solitary dolphin who lived in the bay for 37 years. Watching a solitary dolphin in his natural habitat is a very special experience but just as we humans need our personal space, so does Finn the dolphin. Marine Connection documents solitary dolphins (and whales) around the world, so if you spot Finn please report your sightings to the organisation in order that they can keep track of him on their database (info@marineconnection.org)

Kodak Corner Sunset (25 April 2021)

This stunning sunset shot from Kodak Corner, Rostrevor was taken by Sinéad McParland. Sinéad is from Armagh and has had a keen interest in photography from a young age. For now it's just a hobby but she would love to pursue it further someday. Sinéad loves getting outdoors and finding new places to explore.

Kodak Corner is truly a beautiful spot with stunning views over Carlingford Lough. Sinéad took a dander up to the Big Stone and through the trees of Kilbroney Forest to watch the sunset behind the Cooley mountains and what a view it was. Check out Sinéad's Instagram page @Sineadmcp12 to view more of her lovely photography.

Starry starry night (18 April 2021)

This week's photo comes from Robert McKee. Robert is from Kilkeel and has only recently discovered a hidden talent for photography. Robert took this photograph of the night sky from the Mourne Mountains last Thursday. In this own words

In the wee hours of Thursday morning I made my way into the Mourne Mountains to shoot the Milky-way with a window between 3-4 am for best conditions. I love photographing the night sky! It's so beautiful on a clear night, and it is hard to comprehend the vastness of it all. I get a buzz from seeing the Milky-way on the camera screen after the long exposures needed to capture it.

Prints are available to purchase from Robert's Facebook page RBM Photography You can also find him on Instagram: @robertmckee17.

This photo features Lough Shannagh - which is the largest body of water in the Mourne Mountains that is not man made. It lies on a high plateau at the foot of Sliabh an Chairn / Carn Mountain and is framed beautifully by several peaks creating a stunning backdrop. The Lough is also known as the Lough of the Fox after a supposed tragedy occurred many years ago...

A long time ago there was a great hunter called Sheelagh, the daughter of one of the Clan Chiefs. On a hunt in the area around the Mournes she chased a fox. Such was her skill as a rider that she broke away from the rest of the hunt and was able to chase the fox into the high Mournes. The rest of the hunt tried to keep up but she was soon on her own and kept chasing the fox. The mist closed in and the visibility dropped to nothing. The fox ran straight into the lough and the woman followed only to see the fox disappear. The woman tried to find a way out of the lough, only to get deeper and deeper in until she died, with her horse, sinking to the bottom. The rest of the hunt were said to have searched in the mist for many days but never found her. The lough is now known as Lough Shannagh or the 'Lough of the Fox'. Apparently, when the mist closes in, the woman can be seen haunting the lough; on her horse, chasing the fox into the lough.

The Lambs and Ewe (11 April 2021)

This amazing photo of a ewe and her baby lambs was captured by Liam and Laura Woods of Castletowncooley. Liam is a sheep and suckler farmer in the Cooley Peninsula and this is a sight he had never seen before. Luckily his wife Laura was on hand to capture the scene and the photo was a big local hit.

The tree in the photo was a 300 year old beech tree which ironically has its own claim to fame. It was photographed 2 yrs ago by local photographer Bernard O'Rourke for Murphy's petrol station calendar after being blown down on 18th September 2018 during a storm. With the help Carlingford Lough and Cooley Peninsula social media - the photo became an even bigger hit - making an appearance on Aimsir TG4. Laura and Liam have been absolutely delighted with the attention the photograph has received.

Sunset from Cloughmore (04 April 2021)

This amazing capture of the sunset over Carlingford Lough at the Cloughmore Stone comes from Tomasz Pietruszka. Hiking and visiting picturesque spots of Ireland has become Tomasz's passion. A few years ago, he began to capture these beautiful areas in photos and that is how photography became his second passion. He loves discovering new places and sharing their beauty with others through his stunning photography. To see more of the beautiful places that Tomasz has captured in photos check him out on Facebook or Instagram at @Okiem_Tomka.

The Cloughmore, derived from the Irish 'An Chloch Mhór' which means 'The Big Stone' is a huge granite boulder found about 300metres above the village of Rostrevor on the slopes of Slieve Martin. It commands amazing views over Carlingford Lough. The area has been declared a National Nature Reserve and an Area of Special Scientific Interest. The boulder is estimated to weigh over 50 tonnes. Local legend claims that Fionn MacCumhaill threw the stone across the lough while fighting a rival giant. It was deposited during the last ice age over 10,000 years ago and may have come from Scotland. To reach the Cloughmore, drive to the top carpark in Kilbroney Forest Park. Follow the signs and climb the steep path up to the stone. It is well worth the climb for the stunning views over Carlingford Lough.

Cloud reflections at Victoria Locks (28 March 2021)

Our photo of the week is this stunning cloud reflection at Victoria Lock. It was taken by Michael Canavan, whose family operated the locks for many years. Michael's Mum's cousin Mickey (Beefer) Fearon was last lockmaster at Fathom. He had worked for many years on Fisher Boats mainly. Mickey operated lock gates and facilitated boats arriving and leaving the Canal. Another cousin Hugh John (Fr Fearon’s father) was the Harbour Master in Albert Basin. Many of the Fearon family travelled the world on boats leaving though the Locks at Fathom. Michael remembers his late mother May telling him that during WW11 the boats heading out to Liverpool were fitted with a machine gun at the Fathom Lock to protect against U Boats often not realising that this was useless as they could not see the UBoats till it was too late.

Victoria Locks is the first lock on the Newry Ship Canal. It was designed by Sir John Rennie and built by William Dargan in the 1840s. It was the entry point for larger sea going vessels to the Newry Canal from Carlingford Lough through Narrow Water. The Newry Canal was built to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry. The site was landscaped and the lock was automated in May 2007, creating a lovely, peaceful, sheltered picnic site with access to Newry and the Albert Basin for pleasure boats at high tide.

Across the road there is a lovely walking route, using Forest Service paths, zigzagging through Fathom Forest to the top of the Flagstaff where you can see stunning panoramic views of the Ring of Gullion, the Lough and the Mourne Mountains. Plans are underway to link the Portadown to Newry Canal footpath and cycleway to the East Coast Greenway that currently stops in nearby Omeath village. The link will hopefully give cyclists and pedestrians the unique experience of travelling the Middlebank that delineates the canal from Carlingford Lough, rejoining true dry land at Victoria Lock and heading on into Omeath and medieval Carlingford. The first part of this greenway was opened to the public in May 2018 and runs from Albert Basin in Newry to Victoria Locks.

The Tholsel, Carlingford (21 March 2021)

Our photo of the week features 'The Tholsel' and a view onto a very quiet Tholsel Street in Carlingford. It was taken by Conn Foxx. You can follow Conn on Instagram @connfoxx

The 'Tholsel' was one of 4 town gateways in the town wall around Medieval Carlingford and is the only one remaining. It stands at the entrance to Tholsel Street and dates back to the 15th century. The name 'Tholsel' refers to a structure where tolls or customs dues were collected. These would be usually found in market places in the centres of towns. The Tholsel in Carlingford is a gatehouse in form but may well have been used for the collection of customs on goods or tolls on people entering the town. Originally it was 3 storeys high but was altered to the current 2 storey structure in the 19th century during extensive repair work carried out by Lord Anglesey. In 1834 it is recorded that it was used by the Corporation of Carlingford for meetings and a Parliament is said to have used it to make laws for the Pale. It has also been used as a town jail. The building is said to have been used as the Sessions House in the 17th century where the sovereign and burgesses met. Local tradition also claims (somewhat improbably) that a parliament met here and made laws for the Pale and that it was used as the town gaol in the 18th century. It is considered very significant as it is the only surviving town gate in Carlingford and one of only a small number of town gates in Ireland. It is generally in good condition and is privately owned. [Reference: Carlingford Historic Town Walls Conservation & Management Plan]

Ravensdale Forest (14 March 2021)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful image from Ravensdale Forest. It was taken by Peter Fitzsimons. Peter is from Dublin but living in Carlingford and is very passionate about photography. You can follow him on Instagram at @peter_photofitz. Peter would like to wish all the businesses in the local area all the best for the opening up after restrictions. If any local businesses would like photos of their shops or business give him a shout to find out more.

Ravensdale forest is located in the wooded demesne of the former Lord Clermont’s estate. There was a house called Ravensdale Park but it was destroyed during the troubles in the 1920s. It is well worth a visit when allowed for a picnic and/or the beautiful forest roads and trails. There are three way marked trails in the forest, the Tain Trail, the Ring of Gullion and the shorter 1.5km Ravensdale Loop trail.

Snow Moon over Carlingford Lough (07 March 2021)

Our photo of the week is this fantastic capture of the rise of the snow moon over Carlingford Lough at Greenore last week. It was taken by Alice Malone. Alice has always enjoyed taking photos. She enjoys capturing the beauty that surrounds her at her home in the Cooley Peninsula. She particularly likes taking photos of the night sky and the sea. Up to very recently, Alice used her iPhone to capture photos. However, this photo was taken with a Canon camera that she is still learning to use!

The snow moon's name is derived from Native American traditions, and refers to the large amounts of snowfall they would have generally seen at this time of year – and the resulting difficulty in hunting. It is also referred to as Storm Moon and Hunger Moon.

Carlingford Lough from Slieve Foye (28 February 2021)

This great picture was taken by Clodagh McKevitt earlier in the week and showcases the stunning view over Carlingford Lough from Slieve Foye. Clodagh owns Anam Tours and organises sunrise and sunset walks, guided hikes, town tours and adult and junior trails. Clodagh has lived all her life on the Cooley Peninsula and it is her love of the mountains and the rich history of the area that encouraged her to start Anam Tours - a wee one woman operation that allows her to share her passion with others. She also loves taking pictures of the natural beauty that surrounds her.

You can follow Clodagh on Facebook: @anamtours1 and/or Instagram: @anam_tours_

Storm waves at Gyles Quay (21 February 2021)

Our photo of the week is this great photo of waves hitting Gyles Quay Pier. It was taken last Sunday by Peter Larkin. Gyles Quay is a small seaside village and was named after Ross Gyles who built a wooden pier there in 1780 which was replaced with the present day stone pier in 1824. In the 19th century its location made it convenient for illegal smuggling of wine and tobacco. To help curb this smuggling a coast guard watch station was constructed in 1823. A small village grew around the pier. A row of pretty coastguard cottages are still standing and in use as private residences. The beach here is a mixture of sand and stone and safe for swimming. Gyles Quay was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s and it was packed out with people during the Summer and at weekends, as many of our followers will remember.

Above Carlingford Harbour (14 February 2021)

This great aerial photo looking over Carlingford Harbour as far as the snowy Mournes was taken by Marius Adamonis. Marius lives in Navan, is the father of 3 sons and his favourite hobby is drone photography. He loves taking photos in his free time. Marius lived in Carlingford 18 years ago and was really sad when his family had to move away from the area. He comes back to visit regularly. Marius and his family love to travel and they think Ireland is a very beautiful country with amazing landscapes with so many places to visit. They are looking forward to the end of travel restrictions. Please note that Marius is an essential worker and has not broken any of the current guidelines/rules in taking this photograph. You can follow Marius on Instagram @marius_drone_photography or on facebook at Marius Drone Photography, to see more beautiful pictures from the places he has visited.

Sunrise at the Flagstaff (07 February 2021)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunrise which was taken from the Flagstaff Viewing Point last Sunday morning. The view from the Flagstaff is one of the finest scenic viewpoints in Ireland and is even more special in the first light of day. The photo was taken twenty minutes before sunrise by Mark Flynn. Mark is from Newry, is the father of two young girls and his favourite hobby is photography. He loves sunrises and loves to arrive / climb mountains in the darkness just to watch the sky change. He feels so lucky to have all this so close to home and we are all lucky that we get to enjoy his wonderful photography. You can follow Mark on Instagram @flyno1971

The Flagstaff Viewing point/Barr an Fheadáin lies just over the border from Omeath, Co. Louth, in County Armagh and offers fantastic views over Carlingford Lough as the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea and Slieve Foye in the Cooley Mountains rises on the other side. The Irish name for Flagstaff is Barr an Fheadáin - which means ‘Top of the Water course’. It is said that a flag used to be raised on the Flagstaff to inform the pilot in Warrenpoint or Omeath of the approach of a ship. The centuries-old tradition of hoisting the flag overlooking Carlingford Lough was revived in 2016 after a break of 46 years and is now an annual event as part of the Lúnasa Festival.

Cúchulainn's Castle (31 January 2021)

Our photo of the week is this stunning picture of Castletown Motte, also known as Cúchulainn's Castle from Paddy from Photos iPhoto. The circular motte is situated just west of Dundalk. The motte is built on the site of a pre-Christian fort called Dún Dealgan and is said to be the birthplace of Cúchulainn. A motte-and-bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey which is surrounded by a protective ditch and fence. The current castellated house or tower is known as 'Byrne's Folly' and was built in 1780 by a local pirate named Patrick Byrne. Patrick Byrne died in 1791 and is buried in a very distinctive tomb in the nearby Castletown graveyard. Cúchulainn's Castle is located on Mount Avenue, Dundalk. Access requires climbing over an old stone stile in the stone wall at the entrance and there are no parking/facilities. Paddy is in the process of setting up a website to showcase and sell his prints. You can follow him on Facebook @photosiphoto and Instagram @photos_iphoto

Sunrise by Haulbowline (24 January 2021)

This week's photo features this stunning sunrise over Carlingford Lough captured by Martin McCaul. Martin took an interest in photography when he lived in New Zealand. He lived there for 28 years but it was actually on a holiday back to Newry in 1985 that photography became more of a passion. Martin returned to Ireland in 1992 and continued taking photos. Martin continues to try and get out everyday if possible with his camera to combine a bit of walking exercise along with photography during the lockdowns. He particularly enjoys the mornings as they are quiet and give plenty of time to relax without worrying about the current issues. And lucky us get to enjoy these beautiful sunrises without even getting out of bed!

Sunrise from Camlough Mountain (17 January 2021)

This week's photo is from Ciaran Mathers and features a stunning sunrise view from Camlough Mountain. Ciaran lives in Newry and is an amateur photographer. He loves nothing better than grabbing his camera and heading out to try and capture something special. In Ciaran's own words:

"Nothing beats clearing the head, than going for a walk or a hike. With views like this you can forget what is going on in the world for those few minutes. Moments like these we cherish and that keeps us going"

You can follow Ciaran on Instagram @ciaran_mathers_images.

Proleek Dolmen on a snowy day (10 January 2021)
Slieve Binnian Sunrise (03 January 2021)

This week's photo comes from Robert McKee. Robert is from Kilkeel and has only recently discovered a hidden talent for photography. This photo was taken last Sunday morning when Robert and his 8 year old daughter Lucy decided to go for a sunrise hike on Slieve Binnian. Lucy was so excited to see the first fall of snow. When they reached the stile in the photo, the clouds started to roll in and they turned around to see a beautiful glow in the sky from the sunrise. Robert quickly got his camera out and took this shot of the Mourne Wall before they scampered on to the peak and made their way around the Binnian loop. A great adventure they will never forget.

Robert has recently started selling prints from his Facebook page RBM Photography and some can also be found in the Made in Mourne shop in Kilkeel. You can also find him on Instagram: @robertmckee17

Robin in the Holly (27 December 2020)

This week's photo comes from Melanie McGreevy. Melanie is Newry born and bred and a mum of 3. She is living in Mayobridge, but lived in Burren in her teenage years and used to walk the roads around the Donaghaguy Waterworks just outside Warrenpoint. Now her kids love to go there for a walk and to feed the ducks. She photographed this little Robin on her phone as it sat and sang to them in very close proximity for a good twenty minutes and even fed from her hand. Melanie lost her mum on 27th December 2017 and felt that this Robin was a true wee sign and as you can see was quite happy to pose for the camera!

Mourne Mountain Kitten (20 December 2020)

This week's photo comes from Daniel McEvoy. It was taken just outside his home where he grew up, near Atticall (from the Irish: Áit Tí Chathail, meaning "place of Cathal's house"), at the foothills of Slieve Muck in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Daniel has never studied photography but it is something that he loves doing and we love seeing his wonderful photos and often share them on our page. Daniel takes all his photos with his phone and there is always something beautiful to photograph around where he lives. We love seeing photos of Daniel's cats and kittens set against the backdrop of some beautiful scenery.

Watching the horses (13 December 2020)

Our photo of the week features this little girl totally enthralled watching these horses in the water at Templetown Beach. It was taken by Anthony White while out for a stroll with his family last Sunday. Anthony grew up beside the beach and can spot a good photo opportunity when it presents itself!

Templetown Beach takes it name from the crusading "Knights Templar". It is in a beautiful setting on the Cooley Peninsula protected on each side by rock promontories. It is said that Henry II sent over 200 Knights Templars to the Cooley Peninsula on the edge of 'the pale' to protect the Anglo-Norman lands from the 'wild' Irish. Evidence of their presence can be found in Kilwirra / Cill Mhuire (meaning Mary's Church). The original church was built in honour of the Virgin Mary in the 15th century. In the graveyard you can find a couple of Templar graves which can be identified by the insignia of the cross and the lamb.

Spelga Sunset Splash (06 December 2020)

Our photo of the week is a sunset splash at Spelga Dam from Mac Creative Photography. Mac Creative Photography is a qualified award winning photographer with 25+ years of experience in many specialised areas of photography to which he adds his own unique creative twist to. Creativity is key to creating an eye catching photo.

The Spelga Dam reservoir is situated in the townland of Spelga in the Mourne Mountains and covers an area known as Deer's Meadow, which was flooded after the Dam was constructed in the 1950s. You will also find a magic hill similar to the magic hill in Jenkinstown, Cooley. If you drive down to the gates at Spelga Dam and switch off your engine half way down the hill the car will appear to roll up the hill. Some say it's the work of the fairies; others say it's an optical illusion.

Sunset on Haulbowline (29 November 2020)

Our photo of the week is this beautiful sunset spotlight on Haulbowline Lighthouse, Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Niall McAuley. Niall is from Killean in Co. Armagh and loves to hike and cycle and take photos in his spare time. You can follow him on Instagram @mcauley01

Haulbowline is an active 19th century lighthouse sitting at the entrance channel into Carlingford Lough. It was built on a wave washed rock which is only visible at low tide. The lighthouse was converted to electric power in 1965 and was the first automated Irish offshore lighthouse. In 2008 the revolving signal was replaced with a flashing warning and in 2009 the fog signal was permanently disestablished. It is a granite tower with a lantern and gallery incorporating a keepers quarters. It has 8 floors and at one time had accommodation for 3 lighthouse keepers. There is also a secondary lantern halfway up the tower which up until 1922 displayed a 'half tide' light to inform mariners that the tide was high enough to enter the lough.

It was first used in September 1824 but was not fully completed until 1826 at a cost of £28,242. It was designed by George Halpin who was also responsible for the construction of much of Dublin port, several of Dublin's bridges, and a number of other lighthouses. The request for its construction came following complaints that the existing shore-based Cranfield Point Lighthouse did not mark the channel and dangerous rocks at the entrance to Carlingford Lough in an adequate way. Cranfield Point lighthouse later became a victim of coastal erosion in the early 1860s. Building this tower on a semi-submerged rock with fast currents running around it was a remarkable achievement at the time. The tower was painted white and remained so until 1946 when it was changed to its natural stone colour. From 1824 until 1922 the lighthouse keepers and their families lived in the Cranfield Point Lighthouse dwelling. New dwellings were built at Greencastle in 1922 and subsequently sold after the light was automated. [Reference: Irish Lights]

Narrow Water Keep at Night (22 November 2020)

This week's photo is this beautiful shot of Narrow Water Keep under a stunning night sky on the shores of Carlingford Lough. It was taken by Jason Ruddy. Jason is a keen photographer who lives in Warrenpoint. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonruddy04) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87) to view more of his outstanding photography.

Ballymascanlon Cottages (15 November 2020)

This week's photo features the Ballymascanlon Cottages and was taken by Mark Duffy, a landscape and commercial photographer based out of Dundalk, Co. Louth. The 7 cottages at Ballymascanlon form a terrace that was built to house workers from the Ballymascanlon Estate. They included a shop and a post office and the village they formed was believed to have been the smallest village in Ireland at one time. The cottages feature beautiful ornate gothic style windows and doors and unusual chimney stacks. They are listed as protected structures and are currently owned by Ballymascanlon Hotel. The Argus reported in 2011 that work was carried out to weatherproof the buildings after slates had fallen off the roof during a severe winter. There are no plans at the moment to restore the cottages primarily because of a lack of funding. It would be great to see these restored and in use again in a manner fitting to their importance as part of the architectural heritage of County Louth and indeed Ireland.

You can view more of Mark's stunning photography on his website and social media channels:-

Website: www.markduffyphotography.com
Facebook: MarkDuffyPhotography
Instagram: markduffyphotography
Twitter: @markduffyfoto

Foley's Bridge (08 November 2020)

Our photo of the week comes from Noreen Mack and features the beautiful Foley's Bridge in Tollymore Forest Park. This shot was taken in the early morning on the 30th of October and showcases stunning autumnal colours. Noreen bought her first camera two Christmases ago with the sole purpose of photographing her decorative cakes in the hope of getting published in cake magazines. But very quickly she fell in love with landscape photography and hasn't stopped teaching herself since. She finds it a truly wonderful and rewarding hobby. You can see more of Noreen's photography on her facebook page Noreen's Ireland.

Tollymore Forest Park is located in Bryansford, Co. Down and has stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Mourne mountains. It regularly featured in the series Game of Thrones. The name Tollymore (Tulaigh Mhór) is derived from "large hill or mound", referring to the two hills which are located within its boundary. The park was once dominated by Bryansford House which was built in the 1730s and remodelled twice in the 19th century. Sadly the house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1952. In 1955 Tollymore became a National Forest Park. The Shimna River flows through Tollymore and 16 bridges cross over the river within the grounds. Foley's Bridge which is featured in this photo was built in 1787.

Kodak Corner (01 November 2020)

Our photo this week comes from Gary Lundy. Gary took this picture on Saturday from 'Kodak Corner' in Kilbroney Forest Park. For years, every weekend, Gary and his wife Colette head up for a hike into the Mournes. Recently it's just about the only place where they can escape from all that is going on.

"I took this photo at Kilbroney Forest Park's 'Kodak corner', a short 15 minute drive from our home. At this stage, there isn’t a trail in Kilbroney (or in the whole of the Mourne Mountains) we haven't walked but as far as scenic views go, it would be a hard push beating this one. A complete panoramic view of Carlingford Lough. For me, a good photo is being in the right spot at the right time and after today's gale force winds we definitely hit it lucky capturing the rainbow falling down into the lough. It's just a pity we didn't make it down the mountain in time to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!"

Haulbowline in Blue (25 October 2020)

This week's photo is from Edward Coogan and features the Haulbowline Lighthouse on a starry night. Edward is a photographer based in Antrim who loves all things photography related from landscapes and portraits to teaching it to others. He took this picture a few months ago while the lighthouse was illuminated in blue to honour the fabulous work of the NHS and the HSE. Edward wanted to capture it as a beacon of hope in these dark times. Edward loves photography and it gives him a chance to get to some fantastic places and to meet some lovely people while out capturing images. You can follow Edward on his facebook page Digital Photography N.I and you can see more of Edward's photography on his website www.digitalphotographyni.com where he show cases some of his work for all to see.

The Haulbowline light house was completed in 1824 after a request was made in 1817 to replace the 1803 Cranfield Point Lighthouse. The Cranfield Light house was considered to be in a poor position to mark dangerous rocks at the entrance to Carlingford Lough. It is 34m (112 ft) in height and the main light is 32m above high water. It serves to guide vessels through the entrance channel into Carlingford Lough. It was built on a semi-submerged rock which is exposed only at low tide with fast currents running around it and was considered quite a feat at the time. It was painted white and remained white until 1946 when it was changed to its natural stone colour. From 1824 until 1922 the Keepers and their families lived in the Cranfield Point Lighthouse dwelling. New dwellings were built at Greencastle in 1922 and subsequently sold after the light was automated. The light was converted to electric and made unwatched automatic on 17 March 1965. The fog signal was permanently disestablished on 8 January 2009 and to this day is still missed by many locals.

Templetown Sunset (18 October 2020)

Our photo of the week is this stunning sunset on Templetown Beach. It was taken by David J Kearney. David has lived on a farm all his life, just 1 mile from Templetown Beach and he couldn’t think of anywhere nicer to live! He took a cycle down to the beach on Wednesday evening and as you can see from the photo it was simply stunning!

Templetown Beach takes it name from the crusading "Knights Templar". It is in a beautiful setting on the Cooley Peninsula protected on each side by rock promontories.

Wooden Pier, Greencastle (11 October 2020)

This week's photo comes from Chris McCabe and is a fantastic aerial shot of the old Wooden Pier at Greencastle, Co. Down. Chris is the owner of CM Aerial Photography. He is an amateur photographer from Kilkeel, living right on the shore of the Mill Bay area of Carlingford Lough. He has always had a keen interest in photography and decided to buy a drone in March of this year to give aerial photography a shot. In his opinion there are not many better places in the country than Carlingford Lough to view from the sky .. and we definitely agree! In his own words:-

"The views are amazing from the ground but when you see the area from above it is absolutely stunning and I am delighted to see so many other people enjoying my photos. It makes what I enjoy doing even more enjoyable!"

The old wooden pier, which is a listed structure, was very important in the past. It was the start of the journey of Mourne potatoes to England. It was owned by the old London and North Western Railways who ran a paddle steamer once daily and was of great local significance as a ferry terminal between Greencastle and Greenore. This old tradition of passenger/vehicles from Greencastle to Greenore has been revived with the launch of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry in 2017.

Lots more photos from around Carlingford Lough and beyond from Chris can be viewed on his Facebook page CM Aerial Photography. If you are interested in purchasing prints you can message Chris there.

Moonrise by Haulbowline (04 October 2020)

This fantastic capture of the harvest moon on 1st October was taken by Peter Hourican. Peter is an amateur photographer and has lived in Warrenpoint all this life. He has always enjoyed photography but in the past few years he really likes to capture beautiful scenes that are little bit different from the norm around the shores of our beautiful Carlingford Lough.

In Peter's own words "I've never classified myself as a good photographer but will always give it my best shot! Excuse the pun. I just thought it would be lovely to frame the lighthouse and moon together and especially at Harvest moonrise due to the beautiful colour of the moon when it is low on the horizon. I've used an app on my phone to determine the exact time and place to be to line up the moon and lighthouse which has been invaluable; to sit on the beach and look out at the exact spot on the horizon waiting and then like magic it appears is just fantastic. I hope you all enjoy my shot"

The Milky Way at Silent Valley (27 September 2020)

This week's photo comes from the talented lens of Robert McKee. Robert is from Kilkeel, the capital of the Mournes. He only recently discovered a hidden talent for photography. He loves colourful landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, and also the night sky. This photo of the "Milky Way soaring above the trees" is from a recent night visit to the beautiful Silent Valley Mountain Park, located within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Robert's camera is practically with him all the time now! There is so much beauty in the area we live especially the Mourne Mountains and the Carlingford Lough area where Robert can regularly be found. He has recently started selling prints from his Facebook page RBM Photography and some can also be found in the Made in Mourne shop in Kilkeel. You can also find him on Instagram: @robertmckee17

Towards the Long Woman (20 September 2020)

This week's photo is from Ciaran Mathers and features the mountain road towards the Long Woman's Grave, Omeath. Ciaran lives in Newry and is an amateur photographer. He loves nothing better than grabbing his camera and heading out to try and capture something special. He definitely succeeded with this one. You can follow Ciaran on Instagram @ciaranmathersimages

Sunrise view over Carlingford Lough (13 September 2020)

This great picture was taken by Clodagh McKevitt. Clodagh owns Anam Tours and organises sunrise and sunset walks, guided hikes, town tours and adult and junior trails. Check out her facebook page to see what tours are on offer over the next few weeks. Clodagh has lived all her life on the Cooley Peninsula and it is her love of the mountains and the rich history of the area that encouraged her to start Anam Tours - a wee one woman operation that allows her to share her passion with others. She also loves taking pictures of the natural beauty that surrounds her.

You can follow Clodagh on Facebook: @anamtours1 and/or Instagram: @anam_tours_

Cat on a stone wall (06 September 2020)

This week's photo comes from Daniel McEvoy. It was taken just outside his home where he grew up, near Atticall (from the Irish: Áit Tí Chathail, meaning "place of Cathal's house"), at the foothills of Slieve Muck in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Daniel has never studied photography but it is something that he loves doing and we love seeing his wonderful photos and often share them on our page. Daniel takes all his photos with his phone and there is always something beautiful to photograph around where he lives. We love this photo which was taken just before sunset a few days ago.

Cooley Mountain Sheep (30 August 2020)

Our photo of the week is this fantastic capture from the Cooley Mountains from Barry Kieran. Barry is an amateur photographer from Ravensdale. He got his first camera 6 years ago and started taking photos of the local landscape ("the best in Ireland") and after capturing his first proper sunrise he was hooked. This photo was taken last Saturday as clouds rolled over the Cooley Mountains. Barry says "There is always something to photograph up there - in this case three curious sheep". You can follow Barry on Instagram @barry.kieran7 and on Facebook Barry Kieran Photography

Sunset at Greencastle (23 August 2020)

Our photo of the week is this great capture from Sarah Megaw. Sarah is originally from Kilkeel and grew up around Greencastle, Cranfield and all along the coast line. She is not a professional photographer, however photography has always been in her life with her Daddy Eddie Megaw always taking pictures. Photography is a massive passion of hers. She is now a mother of 3 and pictured in the photograph is her eldest daughter. She also has two younger boys and she loves catching their every move. They, like Sarah, love the outdoors and the sea. Once they start school Sarah's dream is to become a photographer and slowly create a small business doing something she loves.

Inviting waters at Gyles Quay (16 August 2020)

Our photo of the week features this great picture from Gyles Quay taken earlier in the week. Check out the beautiful clear waters. This was taken by Frances Higgins Smith. Frances is a married mum of two with a passion for taking scenic pictures. It's a hobby that some day she hopes to turn into something more.

Moon Rise over Carlingford Lough (09 August 2020)

Our photo of the week is this amazing view of the moon rising over Carlingford Lough from Jeanette Morgan. Jeanette is from Dundalk and has a great love of nature and photography and enjoys combining the two. Jeanette tells us a little bit about how she got into photography and how she captured this great photo.

"I can remember the feeling as a child of watching in awe a particularly stunning sunset while at my grandmothers. My sister had given me her old camera and I can still feel how excited I was at being able to capture such beauty in that one moment in time to keep forever. I still feel that way when photographing nature, be it flowers and bees in my back garden, capturing stunning scenes from the Ravensdale hills or snapping some shots of beautiful swans and curlews on the Castletown River. I’m especially fond of photographing the moon in her various phases and had hoped to capture her that evening with the Haulbowline Lighthouse beneath, unaware of whether or not the clouds would play along with my plans! But I got an even finer sight when I arrived at the coast just in time to see her rising above the horizon in all her crimson glory before disappearing beneath the curtain of clouds and ending her performance for the night."

Carlingford Lough at sunset (02 August 2020)

Our photo of the week is this fantastic view over Carlingford Lough beautifully guarded by the Cooley and Mourne mountains and captured from the talented lens of Tommy Vennard. In Tommy's own words

When the moment fades all that is left is the memories. The beauty of an image is that it can stay forever and remind us of that very point in time that will never be the same again

My name is Tommy Vennard and I have been capturing these moments in time for many many years. My father bought me my very first camera, a Zenith 12XP when I was 14 years old and the desire to capture something that will never be the same again struck hold. I started my working life as a Graphic Designer so that creative streak was always built in, your mind and eyes work in a different way to see the world from a different perspective. Over the years I have developed my range to involve lots of different aspects of photography. Many will know me from covering road racing, a high adrenaline buzz with milliseconds to get the shot. Yet I am just as at home sitting on top of a mountain for two hours, looking at the world in awe at the creators plan of putting on such a show of endless beauty. I also love wandering around cities grabbing moments, people and light that will never happen again in that perfect set of order. You take what you learn from behind the lens from one genera to another and I believe that gives you a completely different take, desire and outcome.

You can follow Tommy on Facebook: @tommyvennardphotographyanddesign, Instagram: @tommyvennnardphotography and/or Twitter: @BigTommyGun

Sunrise at Greenore (26 July 2020)

Our photo of the week is this stunning sunrise view from Greenore, taken earlier in the week by Peter Larkin. Greenore was opened as a seaport in 1873 to provide a service for passengers and cargo between England and the north of Ireland. The London and North Western Railway company built the port which was designed by James Barton. Apart from the Greenore lighthouse which was built on Greenore Point in 1830 by George Halpin Senior to highlight the southern entrance of Carlingford Lough, there was very little else in the village at the time. The railway company constructed dwelling houses, a co-operative store, a school, a reading room and a hotel as well as providing for the infrastructure to support these. They built a golf course and holiday bungalows to help develop tourism at Greenore. The golf course was first opened with 12 holes in October 1896 and the following year was extended to 18 holes.

The passenger services to Holyhead incurred heavy losses and were withdrawn in 1926. Goods traffic continued to decline and the rail and sea services terminated in December 1951. In the 1950s Aodogan O'Rahilly investigated the abandoned installations at Greenore and purchased it from British Rail. He reopened Greenore as a port and the company Greenore Ferry Services Limited was established to develop container traffic. In 1963, Greenore Port became the first port in the Republic of Ireland to handle containerised traffic. It remains the only privately owned port in Ireland and it was acquired by the Burke Shipping Group, the principal operating subsidiary of the family-owned Doyle Group in 2014.

Most of the old part of Greenore is now an architectural Conservation Area. The ACA starts at the bungalows on the southern outskirts, and includes Euston Street, Anglesey Terrace, and the coastguard houses. Unfortunately the majestic railway hotel was demolished in 2006 as it was seen as an obstacle to the development of the port.

A new ferry service, Scenic Carlingford Ferry commenced in July 2017, operating between Greencastle in Co. Down and Greenore. Greenore Co-op and the Greenore Historical Society have overseen the construction of a miniature model railway which you can view in the Greenore Co-op building which also houses a museum and Victorian tea rooms. The cobblestone beach is a popular fishing location and has an array of species including mackerel, sea trout, pollack, spurdog, ray and dogfish.

An old railway bridge (19 July 2020)

This week's photo shows one of the old railway bridge crossings near Narrow Water and was taken by Paul Bruen. It is a reminder of the old railway that used to run from Dundalk to Newry along the coastline. The Dundalk, Newry and Greenore railway was first considered in the 1860s and was opened between Greenore and Dundalk in 1873 and extended to Newry in 1876. It boasted amazing views of the Cooley Mountains on one side, and the Mourne Mountains on the other. It was 26 miles in length and had many stops along the way including Bellurgan, Gyles Quay, Bush, Carlingford and Omeath. The line closed on December 31st, 1951. Attempts were made to try and save the railway but in 1955 one of the most scenic railway routes in the country was dismantled. The Carlingford Lough greenway now allows you to experience the same views albeit by foot/bike and we are looking forward to its extension from Omeath to Victoria Lock in the next few years.

Táin Bó Cúailnge (12 July 2020)

A wonderful picture of the Táin Bó Cúailnge sculpture at The Bush on the Cooley Peninsula from the talented lens of Mark Duffy, a landscape and commercial photographer based out of Dundalk, Co. Louth. Táin Bó Cúailnge, The Cattle Raid of Cooley, is a legendary tale from early Irish literature and is said to be Western Europe's oldest recorded vernacular tale dating back to the 7th Century. It tells the story of a war against Ulster by Queen Medb from Connacht who when attempting to steal the Brown Bull of Cooley was opposed by 17 year old Cú Chulainn. This bronze sculpture at the Bush was unveiled in 2011. The unveiling ceremony began with a lone piper from the Carlingford Pipe Band and continued with a re-enactment of the legendary story by students from Bush Post Primary School. The sculpture was purchased in September 2010. Does anyone have any information on who the artist is?

You can view more of Mark's stunning photography on his website and social media channels:-

Website: www.markduffyphotography.com
Facebook: MarkDuffyPhotography
Instagram: markduffyphotography
Twitter: @markduffyfoto

Flagstaff Viewing Point (05 July 2020)

Our photo of the week is this moody view from the Flagstaff viewing point. It was taken by Ursula Noone, a keen runner and hiker. Ursula always ran and while on the trails she would take a few photos. Since lockdown she started to discover local places and also began hiking and taking more pictures. It is a hobby for her and just like her running, she has found a new love and appreciation for hiking and photography.

Sunrise on the Mourne Mountains (28 June 2020)

A spectacular sunrise in the Mournes captured by photographer Pawel Zygmunt is our photo of the week. Pawel is originally from Poland and is an award winning amateur landscape photographer based in Ireland. He travels across Ireland and other countries "freezing memories of the most majestic and beautiful places in the country". To see more of his stunning photography check out his website: Breaking Light Pictures. You can also follow him on facebook and Instagram.

Slieve Croob Sunset (21 June 2020)

Hope you enjoy this beautiful photo from Jen Duffield. Jen and her eager companion headed on an adventure to watch the sunset on Slieve Croob. The peak was shrouded in low cloud and mist though they could see the orange glow of sunset through the mist. As they descended they snapped this photo and watched the sun sink behind the mountain. At this stage this little girl has seen more of the beauty of the Mournes and the Dromara Hills than most. 

Jen is a keen photographer and sunset is her favourite time to photograph the Mournes. She spends most of her free time photographing the Dromara hills or hiking the Mournes with her camera. You can follow Jen on twitter at jennyd198 and on instagram at its_a_jenny_thing

Peace and Serenity (14 June 2020)

Our photo of the week is this view of Carlingford Lough from Greencastle taken by Brian Mason. The stillness and peacefulness of the setting makes it almost look like a painting. Brian is from Armagh and is a keen amateur photographer with an interest in street and landscape images. You can see more of Brian's lovely work on this website: brianmasonphotography.co.uk, Instagram : brianmasonphotography and his flickr site brian.mason32.

Horse Crossing (07 June 2020)

This week’s photo is this beautiful White Horse captured in the legendary Cooley Mountains by Conor McEneaney.

Conor is from Dundalk and specialises in landscape photography. He is particularly drawn to the dynamic and changeable conditions of the Irish coastline.

Check out Conor’s website and social media accounts to view more of his stunning photography.

http://www.conormceneaney.com
http://www.facebook.com/ConorMcEneaneyPhotography
Instagram: @conor.mc.eneaney
Twitter @conorphotoart

Ballinamara (31 May 2020)

Our photo of the week features the sun setting on Orchard Road, Ballinamara, Cooley. It was taken by Kevin Smyth. Kevin and his wife Angela have been walking every single day since lockdown and feel luck to live in such an amazing area. They weather has been fabulous and they have enjoyed the opportunities to take many beautiful photos.

Peacock Adventures (24 May 2020)

Our photo of the week features this beautiful peacock family who reside in Annetts Garden Centre in Warrenpoint. We got the full story about Mr. Peacock's latest adventure from Annetts.

"Every Spring during mating season, our peacock goes on an adventure to find a mate. This usually involves him taking a nip around Warrenpoint town. Usually this takes a day or two and he will return with his tail between his legs as he was unsuccessful; however this year he took an extra long break and was on his adventure for about 5 days. We were in constant contact with neighbours and residents of Warrenpoint who were keeping us up to date with his whereabouts and we were able to follow his movements to ensure he was making his way home. He made it as far as Burren and even nipped down to the Vivo Extra. He eventually made his way up Dallan Hill, visited a few houses and with no luck finding a love he hopped over the garden centre gates and made his way back to the other peacocks. It was then that we discovered that he was going to be a Dad! His faithful peahen back at home was sitting on 6 eggs. A few weeks later six baby peacock chicks hatched out and he has been a doting father ever since. Until next year that is!"

Annetts Garden centre in Warrenpoint has won lots of awards over the years but since moving to their new site in 1999 every aspect of the business has been accredited Best Plant Quality NI, honored by Newry and Mourne District Council for it's contribution to the area and for their new Wildlife Garden. Well worth a visit (within current lockdown guidelines). They allow all of their peacocks and guinea hens to roam freely and would never want to have to lock up such magnificent animals and deprive them of their freedom! You can find out more about the garden centre on their website Annetts Garden & Outdoor living centre

Moonrise over Greenore Port (17 May 2020)

Our photo of the week is this fantastic capture of the rise of the last supermoon of the year over Greenore Port as viewed from Greer's Quay, Omeath. It was taken by RR Robbins. He is here from the United States for a short writing job. He was heading back to New York when the Covid crisis hit so he decided to extend his stay until the situation improved. In his own words "Fresh air, nice weather, green fields and sheep. As even Matt Damon can attest, there are worse places to be locked down than Ireland". We couldn't agree more! You can follow him on Instagram @thefarawayfinder

Newry Cathedral Sunset (10 May 2020)

Our photo of the week is this amazing capture of the sun setting behind Newry Cathedral earlier in the week. It was taken by Sean Donegan Photography - the man behind Newry Man Lost, a page dedicated to landscape, architecture and abandoned photography. Sean is a Newry based professional fashion, commercial and press photographer and has been shooting for nearly 30 years and started professionally about 10 years ago. Newry Cathedral, designed by Newry architect Thomas Duff, was completed after 5 years of construction in 1829. It is full of beautifully crafted mosaics, and stunning stained glass windows and is well worth a visit. You can see more of Sean's stunning photography on his website / social media pages:-
Facebook: Sean Donegan Photography
Facebook: Newry Man Lost
Instagram: @seandonegan.photography
Twitter: @SGDPhotography
Website: Sean Donegan Photography

The Fairy Glen, Rostrevor (03 May 2020)

Our photo of the week is this great picture of 'The Fairy Glen' - the home of the 'wee folk' which stands at the entrance to the beautiful Kilbroney Forest Park, the home of the Narnia trail which leads you into a magical world. According to legend, a mischievous group of fairies known as the 'Brooneys' lived in the glen and it wasn't safe to walk there after darkness fell. The photo was taken by talented photographer Jason Ruddy who lives in Warrenpoint. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonruddy04), Facebook (Jason Ruddy Photography) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87) to view more of his stunning photography.

Kodak Corner (26 April 2020)

This week’s photo is from Kodak Corner in Kilbroney Forest Park. It was taken by Dermot Mathers. Dermot lives in Warrenpoint and is a runner, cyclist and adventure racer, who enjoys taking pictures whilst out training. His playground and the place he loves the most is the Mourne Mountains - either scrambling up Bearnagh or running up Slieve Martin. You can follow Dermot on Instagram @run2explore365. Kodak Corner offers up some amazing views over Carlingford Lough. It is situated in the beautiful Kilbroney Forest Park, which is in Rostrevor, Co. Down. In Kilbroney, as well as the stunning views, you will find beautiful walking trails through old oak forests, the fairy glen and Narnia.

Tulla Views (19 April 2020)

This week’s photo was taken by Marion Morgan and it showcases the beautiful view over Carlingford Lough from the townland of Tulla, Omeath. Tulla is one of the ten townlands of Omeath and is from the Irish ’Tulach Ó Méith’ which means ’Hill of Omeath’ The other townlands are Ardaghy, Ballinteskin, Ballyoonan, Bavan, Cornamucklagh, Corrakit, Drummullagh, Knocknagoran, and Lislea.

Fly me to the moon (12 April 2020)

Our photo of this week is this brilliant photo of a bird flying in the path of April’s pink moon last Tuesday evening. It was taken by Peter Larkin who lives near Greenore and is one of the administrators / photographers for our page/website. Peter grew up in Greenore and has lived in the area all his life. He is also one of the longest serving members in the Irish Coastguards (Greenore Unit), having joined at the tender age of 13. He has always had a very keen interest in photography. Peter spent 2 hours trying to capture this shot using a tripod and manual settings on his SLR camera. At one stage, he felt it might have been easier to move the moon than capture a bird flying past. It will be a while before we have a super moon again so he is planning to get in a lot of practice. He was delighted and very appreciative of all the lovely comments he received on our page about his photo.

Above Carlingford Harbour (05 April 2020)

This week’s photo was taken by Mark McCann. Mark has always loved photography along with his other hobbies - Mountain Biking and volunteering with the Irish Coast Guards Greenore Unit. Recently he has taken an interest in drone photography and is showcasing our beautiful area with amazing views like this one.

Templetown Sunset (29 March 2020)

This week’s photo features another beautiful sunset. This one is from Templetown Beach on the Cooley Peninsula and was taken last Thursday by Eimear Larkin. Templetown is named after the medieval crusaders, the Knights Templar. The Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169-71 lead to the arrival of military orders including the Knights Templar and they developed a presence in Ireland. They are believed to have built the nearby church at Kilwirra. The ancient graveyard contains Templar graves with the insignia of the cross and the lamb.

Gyles Quay Sunset (22 March 2020)

This week’s photo is this beautiful sunset captured earlier in the week by Peter Larkin at Gyles Quay. We are lucky to live in such a stunningly beautiful area but we also need to ensure that we are doing our bit to help with the ongoing fight against the spread of COVID-19. There are a lot of people out walking and ignoring social distancing advice. Please listen to the advice coming from our medical experts and step up. Avoid crowded or public places, cancel plans and stop traveling. We need to slow down the spread of the virus so that it doesn’t overwhelm our health system. All people are advised to reduce social interactions, keep a distance of 2 metres between themselves and other people and to not shake hands or make close contact with other people where possible. If you have a fever or a cough you should stay home regardless of your travel or contact history. You can find the Irish governments latest health advice on COVID-19 here.

Mammatus Clouds on the Mournes (15 March 2020)

Our photo of the week is this stunning dramatic shot of Mammatus clouds, dangling over the Silent Valley reservoir taken from Slieve Binnian by Alistair Hamill. Mammatus clouds are composed primarily of ice and these cloud pouches can extend hundreds of miles in any direction, remaining visible in your sky for only 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Alistair is a landscape photographer who is normally found on top of a Mourne summit watching the sun set across this magical kingdom, or on a cliff top at the Causeway Coast watching the proud basaltic cliffs standing resilient against the relentless battering of the Atlantic breakers, or gazing far off up into the night skies in the darkest of locations trying to capture something of the wonders of the cosmos hidden in plain sight above our heads.

Photos from these various adventures can be viewed at his website, along with other resources such as eBooks and blogs. You can also sign up for his landscape photography workshops there.

You can follow Alistair on his social media channels at the links below:- Twitter:
@ahamillphotos Instagram: @ahamillphotos Facebook: Alistair Hamill Photography

The Táin Way (08 March 2020)

This week’s photo features this beautiful view from the Táin way taken by Stephen McElligott. Stephen is an international award winning photographer from Blackrock. His photos of Dundalk, Carlingford and Omeath have been exhibited around the world. He has been published in the National Geographics Daily Dozen and New York’s Fine Art Magazine among many other publications. You can follow him on facebook at Stephen Bernard Photography. Also well worth taking some time to check out more of his wonderful photography on his website: www.stephenbernard.org. Stephen also has a Gurushots account where he runs and judges photo competitions: www.gurushots.com/stephenmcelligott.

The Táin Way is steeped in history and legend and follows the trails of the epic saga ‘Táin Bó Cúalinge’ through the Cooley mountains with stunning views of Carlingford Lough. It is s 40km circular route that can be walked comfortably in 2 days. It can be started or finished in Omeath, Carlingford or Ravensdale.

From Omeath crossroads (01 March 2020)
Our photo of the week is this beautiful capture of the village of Omeath taken by Alex Coroliu. Alex came to Ireland 19 years ago and settled in Carlingford and then Omeath. He worked as a chef in restaurants around Carlingford and started photoraphy about 10 years ago. He was a member of Dundalk Photographic Society and the Tain Photography Club and loves photographing wild life and motor sports.

Nestled between the Cooley Mountains and the shores of Carlingford Lough and opposite the majestic Mourne Mountains, Omeath is a small village between Carlingford and Newry. The ancient inhabitants of Omeath were known as the Aighneacha and the ancient name of Carlingford Lough - Cuan Snamh Aigeach would appear to be derived from the tribe who inhabited Omeath. Omeath has a rich cultural history and was home to many poets, the most well known being Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta. It was a noted Irish speaking area and one of the oldest records of Gaelic football from this era is a poem as Gaelige which translates to "The match of Bavan Meadow". It was played around 1750 and was written by Redmond Murphy, at a time when Irish was widely spoken in the Omeath area.
Thunderstorm at Stephenstown House (23 February 2020)

This week’s photo of the week comes from Paul Gilgunn and features this stunning capture of a thunderstorm over Stephenstown House which Paul shared earlier this week. Stephenstown House was built in 1785 by Matthew Fortescue for his new bride Marian. It is located on the highest point in the area dominating the landcape. It is a square Georgian house, 2 storeys high with a basement. The house was extended in 1820 with the addition of 2 one storey wings. In 1817 William Galt was contracted by Matthew Fortescuce to build two ponds. William Galt was married to Agnes Burns - a sister of the famous Scottish Robert Burns and they lived on a cottage on the estate. Stephenstown pond is now a nature park and tourist attraction. The house was sold in 1974 and unfortunately was let fall to ruins in the 1980s.

Paul is a committee member of the Dundalk Famine Graveyard association and helps maintain and restore it. He does photography as a hobby and loves old historic ruins and buildings. You can follow him on facebook Paul Gilgunn Photography (https://www.facebook.com/Gilgunnpaulphotography), on twitter (@PaulGilgunn1) and Instagram (paulgilgunn_photography). You can find out more about the Dundalk Famine graveyard on our website.

On top of the world (16 February 2020)
Another great picture from the top of Slieve Foye from Clódagh McKevitt. Clodagh has lived all her life on the Peninsula and runs Anam Tours - a one woman operation that allows her to share her love of the mountains and passion for the area with others. Anam Tours offers a number of trails including "The Carlingford Town Tour", "The Hillside History Tour" and "The Mountain Myths Tour" and they can be tailored to all ages and levels of fitness. You can follow Clodagh on Facebook @anamtours1 and Instagram @anam_tours_ and even it you don’t book a tour you will be able to witness some beautiful photos from the area.
One man and his dog (09 February 2020)
Our photo of the week features this great capture of Gareth Evans and his dog - taken by his friend Marie - after a wonderful day out around Carlingford Lough. Together with his black dog, Toby, Gareth and Marie took the ferry from Greenore and were lucky enough to witness a stunning sunset on Cranfield West Beach. In Gareth’s own words

"This was nothing more than a random snap by Marie, but she managed to capture a unique relationship - that between a man and his most loyal friend"

You can follow Gareth on Instagram at @belfastgarethe and Marie at @mawiiie_doudou

Hares Gap Painting (02 February 2020)

In a break from tradition, our photo of the week features this lovely painting of Hare’s Gap, inspired by a photo taken by Paul McElroy, from the talented hands of Islandmoyle artist, Roisin O’Hare. This painting got a lot of attention during the week which completely amazed Roisin.  Her brother in-law was on the Mournes tending his sheep and took the photo and asked if she would paint it for a raffle they were holding for SMART (NI) ( The Stephen McElroy Appreciation and Remembrance Team) – a charity that Roisin’s sister and husband Paul started in memory of their son Stephen who passed away 5 years ago. The painting is part of an exhibition that is planned for the end of the year, featuring paintings of the Mourne mountains and the surrounding areas.  You can find out more and view more of Roisin’s work on her facebook page: www.facebook.com/Roisinartist

Carlingford Heritage Centre (26 January 2020)

Our photo of the week is this stunning photo of the Carlingford Heritage Centre from Brian Murphy.  Brian has been holding a camera for more than 10 years, but it is only in the last two or three years that he took the step of going manual and learning more about the hobby. Brian is a huge fan of his home county of Louth and loves the history and sites it offers for photographers. He works with the Irish Farmers Journal as his day job, but has recently started pursuing photography as a semi-professional option. Check out his work at www.brianmurphyphotography.ie; Instagram @brianmurphyphotography; Facebook Brian Murphy Photography; and Twitter @brian_bugle.

The Church of Holy Trinity, Carlingford has been leased to the Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust by the Church of Ireland Community and was refurbished as the Carlingford Heritage Centre in 1991/1992. The last service in this church was the harvest festival held on 27th September 1981.The Church may date back as far as the 13th century and is attached to a 3 storey crenelated tower which dates to 15th or 16th century. The graveyard in the grounds of the church is inter-denominational and the earliest inscribed gravestone is dated 1703. The current church dates back to 1804 when extensive renovations were carried out. The Carlingford Heritage Centre is open to the public with displays about local history and is also an events venue and is the perfect setting for meetings, lectures, receptions, product launches, small concerts and weddings.

Sunrise at the Flagstaff (19 January 2020)
This amazing capture of the sun rising over Carlingford Lough from the Flagstaff viewing point comes from Tomasz Pietruszka. The photo was taken in Co. Armagh, and looks down towards Co. Louth on the right and Co. Down on the left. Hiking and visiting picturesque spots of Ireland has become Tomasz's passion. A few years ago, he began to capture these beautiful areas in photos and that is how photography became his second passion. He loves discovering new places and sharing their beauty with others through his stunning photography. To see more of the beautiful places that Tomasz has captured in photos check him out on Facebook or Instagram at @Okiem_Tomka
Winter on Slieve Foye (12 January 2020)

This great picture was taken by Clódagh McKevitt while she was hiking on Slieve Foye last Thursday morning. This is what Clódagh thinks of our beautiful area.

“I have been lucky enough to live my life on the Peninsula with the beautiful Cooley mountains watching over me! For over 40 years I have walked the hills and it was my love of the mountains and the rich history of the area that encouraged me to start Anam Tours, a wee one woman operation that allows me to share my passion with others. I love taking pictures although I am definitely not a photographer, just lucky to be surrounded by natural beauty”

You can follow Clódagh
Facebook: @anamtours1 Instagram: @anam_tours_
Anam Tours has developed a range of walking tours that can be tailored to suit all ages and levels of fitness.

Dawn of a new decade (05 January 2020)

What a beautiful start to 2020. Damian McConville captured this stunning sunrise from the Flagstaff viewing point on New Year’s morning.

Damian is a keen photographer and sunrise is his favourite time to photograph landscapes. He spends most of his free time photographing landscapes, nature and the sporting adventures of Clann na Banna. For Damian, a Down man with Omeath ancestors, The Flagstaff is a favoured location for winter sunrise when the sun rises above Carlingford Lough between the Mournes and Sliabh Foye.

You can follow Damian on twitter at @deemacsea1 and on instagram at mcconville_damian

The Mourne and Cooley Mountains (29 December 2019)
The Cooley Mountains, the Mournes and Slieve Gullion were all formed by volcanic eruptions over 60 million years ago. Carlingford Lough was carved out by glaciers during the last ice age and is surrounded by hills, mountains and beautiful coastlines along with a wealth of myths and legends. This photo was taken yesterday from the Cooley Mountains on an approach to Eagles Rock.
Winter on Donard (22 December 2019)

Hope you enjoy this beautiful photo from Jen Duffield. It is a view of the Mournes from Slieve Donard. It was taken on a bitterly cold but beautiful day. The wind was howling which the photo doesn’t show but the wall sheltered Jen right to the top. Donard isn’t her favourite viewpoint but looks amazing in the snow. 

Jen is a keen photographer and sunset is her favourite time to photograph the Mournes. She spends most of her free time photographing the Dromara hills or hiking the Mournes with her camera. You can follow Jen on twitter at @jennyd198 and on instagram at @its_a_jenny_thing

Christmas spirit (15 December 2019)

Not our usual photo of the week!
This week we thought it only fitting to recognise christmas spirit on our doorstep. A big shout out to Sitar Indian restaurant situated at Carlingford Marina who posted this on their social media channels this week :

“Hello everyone, kindly share this if you can..

If you are struggling financially to put a dinner on the table on Christmas Day or if you live alone and don't have someone to spend the day with, Sitar Indian Restaurant Carlingford will be serving free dinner to anyone who walks through our doors from 1 – 4pm.

We need your support in this matter, spread the word so we make sure no one miss out on this. If we can make Christmas just a little bit better for even one person by opening our doors and providing warm and friendly meal well that's enough for us. You can eat in the restaurant or take away. You can have a lunch with us or simply take food home. No questions will be asked!”

An amazing gesture and hopefully this will put a smile on a few faces that are feeling alone and struggling at Christmas time.

Omeath Christmas lights (08 December 2019)

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
[Norman Vincent Peale]

Our photo of the week showcases the magical transformation of Omeath into a beautiful Christmas wonderland. Congratulations to Omeath Action Group and the whole community on a fantastic display. Highly recommend that you take a trip down and view for yourself.

Early morning in Omeath (01 December 2019)

This week’s photo is this magical picture of Carlingford Lough taken from Omeath by Conor McEneaney.

Conor is from Dundalk and specialises in landscape photography. He is particularly drawn to the dynamic and changeable conditions of the Irish coastline.

Check out Conor’s website and social media accounts to view more of his stunning photography.

http://www.conormceneaney.com
http://www.facebook.com/ConorMcEneaneyPhotography
Instagram: @conor.mc.eneaney
Twitter @conorphotoart

A bird's eye view (24 November 2019)

Our photo this week is this great airborne photo approaching Omeath looking over Carlingford Lough.  You can see one of the Newry River Range lighthouses below and Slieve Foye in the distance. It was taken earlier in the week by Gavin Curtis, a local pilot based in Newry.  Gavin is a keen flyer and his aerial photography has attracted interest from other pilots further afield who plan future visits to the local Carlingford Lough area. 

Gavin flies extensively in Europe but it is his Carlingford Lough photos that have won recognition including 'Photo of the Month' in the Pilots magazine.  Check out some of Gavin's pilot adventures on this website: https://www.vfrtours.com/ which showcase some stunning scenery from the skies.

Winter scenes from Binnian (17 November 2019)

Our photo of the week comes from The Mournes and features a 9 shot panoramic image taken by Paddy Higgins and stitched together in Photoshop. The towers on Donard and Commedagh are clearly visible in the full size image.

Paddy's main passion is Landscape and Seascape photography but he also enjoys doing studio portrait shots. Check out some of Paddy's photographs on his twitter account: @higginspaddy or his instagram account: @paddyhiggins

Sunrise over Carlingford Lough (10 November 2019)
This week's photo features this stunning sunrise over Carlingford Lough captured by Martin McCaul on the 6th November shortly after 07:30 AM. Martin took an interest in photography when he lived in New Zealand. He lived there for 28 years but it was actually on a holiday back to Newry in 1985 that photography became more of a passion. Martin returned to Ireland in 1992 and continued taking photos. He loves to be out early to catch the sunrise and if this photo doesn't inspire you to watch the sunrise this winter we don't think anything will!
On top of Slieve Binnian (03 November 2019)
This week's photo is one of our own … taken from the top of Slieve Binnian last Monday. It features some of the many 'Tors' on Binnian. A Tor is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding slopes. Slieve Binnian is the third highest mountain in the Mournes standing at 747 metres. The circular walking route following the Mourne Wall to the summit of Slieve Binnian and descending along a track past the Blue Lough and Annalong Forest offers amazing views over the Mournes, Silent Valley and Ben Crom. Highly recommend.
Luí na Gréine/ The laying down of the Sun (27 October 2019)
Ireland's ever changing weather and the stunning scenery around the Carlingford Lough and Cooley Peninsula area makes for some incredible sunsets. This beautiful sunset at Bellurgan Point was captured a few days ago by Peter Larkin.
View from the Mournes (20 October 2019)

This week’s photo comes from Peter Lennon. Peter has lived in Northern Ireland all his life, through all the 'troubles' that we endured but it was not really until he started photographing it in an era of peace, that he realised just how beautiful a place it is. This image was taken after a wonderful walk from Meelmore Lodge to the summit of Slieve Bearnagh looking back down the Trassey Track. It is one of his favourite hikes which changes so much with the seasons.
You can check out more of Peter’s beautiful photography on his website:- https://www.peterlennonphotography.co.uk/ and you can follow him on Twitter @peterlennon1, Instagram @fisherwick40 and Peter Lennon Photography on Facebook

Carlingford Lough Sunset (13 October 2019)
This picturesque photo of Carlingford Lough was captured from the wheelhouse of the Carlingford Lough Ferry on Friday evening by Captain Ivor Campbell of Kilkeel, just as the Crew were preparing to dock the vessel at Greencastle following its final sailing of the day. Ivor has a great eye for a photo! The staff get quite competitive but he has a great advantage with his view from the wheelhouse!
Gyles Quay (06 October 2019)

This week’s photo is this great drone shot over Gyles Quay from Damien Callan. Damien is retired and lives in Cooley and has a strong passion for GAA especially Hurling. He also has a love of photography and is getting used to using his drone and getting a birds-eye view.
This picture shows the stone pier which dates from 1824 and a row of pretty coastguard cottages which are now in use as private residences.

Slieve Foy View (29 September 2019)

Our photo of this week is this stunning vista from Slieve Foy.  It was taken by Ciarán Crawley a local resident who enjoys the outdoors, especially hill walking in the Cooley mountains. He works as a sales/marketing manager for http://buildinginfo.com which is a construction information website.

This particular photo was taken on an autumnal afternoon from Slieve Foy overlooking Carlingford Lough with Carlingford village in the foreground. 

Paddle Boarding on Carlingford Lough (22 September 2019)

This week we witnessed some amazing sunsets and a lovely Indian Summer.  Our favourite photo and our photo of the week is this photo of a very lucky paddle boarder paddling on Carlingford Lough near Greencastle.  It was taken by Francie McCracken.

This year Francie has been paddle boarding in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. But he still thinks the best location and best sunsets are on our doorstep - Carlingford Lough. Francie organises lessons and tours throughout the year and advertises on his personal Facebook page. - https://www.facebook.com/francie.mccracken.

It's an easy sport, he loves getting new people out on the water, and it's an amazing experience .... so what are you waiting for?

The 18 Arches (15 September 2019)

Our photo of the week is this stunning capture of the Craigmore Viaduct, known locally as the 18 arches near Newry and the tallest viaduct in Ireland.
It was taken by Peter Fitzsimons. Peter is from Dublin but living in Carlingford and is very passionate about photography. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @peter_photofitz

Peter is currently putting together a portrait photography series. He is looking for volunteers to take part, male or female, who have a story to tell, be it mental health, weight loss, the loss of a loved one, winning the lotto or beating cancer, politics, or anything that will capture the imagination, and or raise awareness. If you are interested in taking part please get in touch with Peter. He will be arranging a date for a photo shoot most likely October 5th in the City North Hotel.

Narrow Water Keep (08 September 2019)
This week’s photo is this beautiful shot of Narrow Water Keep on the shores of Carlingford Lough with Slieve Foye in the distance. It was taken by Jason Ruddy. Jason is a keen photographer who lives in Warrenpoint. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonruddy04) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87) to view more of his stunning photography.
Out of the Blue (01 September 2019)

Our photo of the week features another stunning view from The Mourne Mountains - this time from Slievenaglogh. It was taken by Séan Quinn.   Séan works as a bus driver and support worker for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and is a founder member and Chairman of the charity ‘Run For Autism HAND’. He is a keen runner and loves hiking, particularly in the Mournes, whilst raising Autism Awareness at the same time. Séan undertook most of his training for last year's Dublin City Marathon in the mountains. He enjoys taking photographs whilst out and about in the mountains using his phone with no filter! You can follow him on twitter @seanquinnHAND

Gyles Quay (25 August 2019)

Our photo of the week features this beautiful picture of Gyles Quay taken by Padraic Reid.

Padraic is a retired Customs and Excise Officer who was stationed in Culloville Bridge from 1975-1978. He enjoys talking photographs especially in the Carlingford Lough area. And we definitely enjoy the beautiful photography that he shares.

Moon rise from Greenore (18 August 2019)

Our photo of the week is this stunning capture of the moon rising from Greenore, looking out towards Haulbowline Lighthouse.  It was captured by Paddy Higgins on Friday night. Paddy is an amateur photographer from Warrenpoint. He had hoped to capture the lighthouse in front of the moon but it hid behind a blanket of cloud until it was above the lighthouse. 

Paddy's main passion is Landscape and Seascape photography but he also enjoys doing studio portrait shots. Check out some of Paddy's photographs on his twitter account: @higginspaddy or his instagram account: @paddyhiggins

Haulbowline at Night (11 August 2019)
This week's photo is this stunning nighttime capture of the illuminated Haulbowline Lighthouse. It was taken by Stephen Rooney who has had an eventful few weeks and was lucky enough to get a personal tour of the lighthouse recently. Keep an eye out for BBC newsline next week as they filmed the illumination and it should feature on their news on Monday. Stephen is a young award winning artist from Dunavil near Cranfield, Co. Down. Have a look at his twitter account (@artistrooney) to see some of his wonderful photography, videos and paintings. On a more sombre note, this week marked the week that Ruth Maguire was due to be married. Ruth tragically lost her life last March in Carlingford Lough. Carlingford Lough Ferry ran a special trip and 70 members of Ruth's family were on board to lay wreaths and floral tributes in Ruth's memory.
Haulbowline Lighthouse (04 August 2019)

Our photo this week is this stunning vista of Haulbowline Lighthouse as the sun sets over Carlingford Lough. In keeping with the now annual tradition of illuminating Haulbowline during the month of August in memory of all those who lost their lives in Carlingford Lough, we dedicate this to their memory.

Haulbowline is an active 19th century lighthouse which was built on a semi-submerged rock with fast currents running around and was considered a remarkable achievement at the time. According to 'Seashaken Houses: A lighthouse history from Eddystone to Fastnet' - the rock was known as 'Little Hawl Bowling' and later as Haulbowline - a name derived from the Old Norse meaning 'haunt of the eels'. You can read more about the lighthouse here:- http://www.lochcairlinn.com/Places/Haulbowline-Lighthouse.

This photo was taken by Coastguard volunteer Peter Larkin on Friday evening while out on an exercise with Greenore Coastguards.

Roche's Castle at sunset (27 July 2019)

This week's photo features this beautiful picture of the sun setting behind Roche's Castle, also known as Castle Roche. Castle Roche is a Norman castle not far outside Dundalk. It was built in 1236 by the De Verdun family on a steep rocky outcrop commanding beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

This photo was taken by Niccolò Mancini who is from Milan, Italy but is living in Dundalk and is a keen photographer. You can view more of his photos on his Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/hodos.fotografia and his Instagram page: hodos_fotografia

Golden Moon (21 July 2019)

Our photo of the week is another fantastic capture from Gerald McGivern. This picture of the moon over Carlingford Lough shining like a diamond ring in the sky was taken about 11:30pm last Wednesday.

Gerald is a professional drone pilot holding permission for commercial aerial operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), based just outside Warrenpoint and has been providing Aerial Photography and Video across Ireland for the past 6 years.

You can follow Gerald at www.facebook.com/SeehigherUAV or view his website www.seehigher.com for more information.

Fields of Barley (14 July 2019)

This week’s photo of the week comes from Paul Gilgunn and features winter barley ripening in front of the ruins of Stephenstown House, Knockbridge, Co. Louth. Paul took the picture with his Canon 700D last Sunday morning.

Stephenstown House was built in 1785 by Matthew Fortescue for his new bride Marian. It is located on the highest point in the area dominating the landcape. It is a square Georgian house, 2 storeys high with a basement. The house was extended in 1820 with the addition of 2 one storey wings. In 1817 William Galt was contracted by Matthew Fortescuce to build two ponds. William Galt was married to Agnes Burns - a sister of the famous Scottish Robert Burns and they lived on a cottage on the estate. Stephenstown pond is now a nature park and tourist attraction. The house was sold in 1974 and unfortunately was let fall to ruins in the 1980s.

Paul Gilgunn , works and maintains Dundalk Famine Graveyard and you can follow him on facebook Paul Gilgunn Photography (https://www.facebook.com/Gilgunnpaulphotography), on twitter (@PaulGilgunn1) and Instagram (paulgilgunn_photography)

The Seatruck passing Haulbowline (07 July 2019)
Mid summer evenings are perfect for a flight over Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula. This particular scene of the Seatruck passing Haulbowline Lighthouse one summers eve was captured brilliantly by Mark Rooney, co director of E.M Films Ltd on his Phantom 4 pro. E.M Films are a new cinematic film studio based in Kilkeel County Down who specialise in cinematic advertising and business promotions. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram as @emfilmsltd.
Moonlight over Cooley (30 June 2019)
This week's photo features a beautiful moon over the Cooley Peninsula. We were blessed with some amazing sunrises and sunsets this past while, each one showcasing the beautiful area we live in and all it has to offer. But this shot of the moon taken by Peter Larkin earlier in the week gives the sunsets a run for their money!
Moon Reflection (23 June 2019)

Our photo of the week is this amazing capture of the moon reflecting in Carlingford Lough by Gerald McGivern.
The picture was taken at 120m above the townland of Grinan looking south east over Warrenpoint. The timing and position were critical to get the shot with the moon centered between the mountains while catching its reflection in the Lough. Gerald has been trying to get this shot for a number of years and around 11pm on 18th June, the moon height, position and weather conditions were just right.

Gerald is a professional drone pilot holding permission for commercial aerial operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), based just outside Warrenpoint and has been providing Aerial Photography and Video across Ireland for the past 6 years.

You can follow Gerald at www.facebook.com/SeehigherUAV or view his website www.seehigher.com for more information.

Pigeon Rock (16 June 2019)
Our photo of the week features this beautiful sunset taken from Pigeon Rock in the Mourne Mountains. It was taken by Daragh Hollman, a venture scout with the Howth Sea Scouts from Dublin. As part of a chief scout award for one of their troop, they undertook 3 days and 2 nights hiking the Mourne Way. The first night they camped on Pigeon Rock beside the Mourne wall and witnessed this beautiful sunset. The 2nd night they camped in Meelmore Lodge. They used water purification tablets and collected water from streams, brought all their own camping gear and food as part of the Chief Scout Award requirements. They had a great time and left nothing but their footprints!
Slieve Foye Trio (09 June 2019)

Our photo of the week features these beautiful horses, pictured in Omeath, against the backdrop of Slieve Foye and a moody sky.

Omeath has always had a strong connection with horses. Through the years horse fairs and jaunting cars were part of Omeath right back to the 1920s when people gathered to look at horses at the crossroads or take a trip though the pretty village in a jaunting car. Omeath continues this association with horses with the equine charity Holly’s Horse Haven, which has been located in Omeath over the last 10 years - it is a 100% voluntary, 24/7 cross border critical care and rehabilitation centre who strive to support equines in need.

Mourne Wall (02 June 2019)

Our photo of the week features the amazing Mourne Wall making its way up Slieve Bearnagh and was taken by Graham Pollock.
Graham is a keen hill walker from Co. Armagh and Slieve Bearnagh is one of his favourite hikes in the Mournes. You can follow Graham on twitter @GrahamPoll1 to view more of his beautiful photography.
The Mourne wall was completed in 1922 after 18 years construction and has recently undergone a restoration project which carried out 600 repairs. It is approx 22 miles / 35 km long and runs across 15 peaks in the Mourne mountain range. It’s perimeter marks the boundary of the 9,000-acre catchment area of the Ben Crom and Silent Valley reservoirs.

The Forest Chair (26 May 2019)

Our photo of the week was taken by Hugh Rogers and features this carved forest chair which you can find on the lower trails of Kilbroney Forest.  Hugh is from Annalong at the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains. He takes a lot of pictures from around Carlingford Lough and visits Omeath and Carlingford regularly.  Hugh is an amateur photographer and uses a DSLR camera and phone with a little edit now and again.  We think his pictures are stunning and you can see more by following him on Instagram @hugrogers.

Kilbroney Forest Park is situated in Rostrevor, Co. Down and  offers a wide range of activities and facilities including a children’s play area, picnic areas and a café as well as a caravan and camping site.

Castle Roche (19 May 2019)

This week’s photo features this stunning black and white image from Conor McEneaney.

Castle Roche (more commonly called Roche Castle) has dominated the landscape north west of Dundalk for almost 800 years. The castle was completed by 1236 for Rohesia de Verdun whom according to local legend, pushed her husband to his death from their bedroom window. 

Conor is from Dundalk and in recent years has been more focused on visual art in the form of photography, particularly landscapes and black & white.  He is drawn to the dynamic and changeable conditions of the Irish coastline.

Check out Conor’s website and social media accounts to view more of his stunning photography.

www.conormceneaney.com
www.facebook.com/ConorMcEneaneyPhotography
Instagram: @conor.mc.eneaney
Twitter @conorphotoart

Clarke Station (12 May 2019)

Our photo of the week features the no. 85 Merlin arriving into Clarke Station and was taken by Darran Rafferty. The Merlin, which dates from 1932, is the last remaining full-sized compound locomotive at work anywhere in the UK and Ireland. Merlin is on long term loan to the Society from the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, although her tender belongs to the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland. (Read more about the no. 85 Merlin here)

Darran works in the Dundalk Democrat and is a keen photographer. For the past 6 years he has produced local calendars featuring some stunning photography from around the Dundalk area.

You can view more of Darran’s work on his web and social media pages:
Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/drafferty.photos/

https://www.facebook.com/dundalktownphotos

Instagram: @darranrafferty, @dundalktownphotos

Website darranrafferty.com

Twitter: @DarranR, @DundalkTnPhotos

Greenore Railway Memories (05 May 2019)

In 1954 a long battle to save the Dundalk-Greenore-Newry railway line failed and one of the most scenic train routes in the country was lost.  Its stunning views are evident in this week's photo of the week.

This is one of the bridge crossings which is now near the 7th tee on Greenore Golf course and it boosts stunning views of Carlingford Lough and the Mountains of Mourne.  An Industrial Heritage Survey of Railways in Counties Monaghan and Louth  by Fred Hamond and Charles Friel presents the results of a survey of the disused railways of counties Monaghan and Louth and contains a wealth of information about the remaining bridges/level crossings/stations houses of the original railway line.

 For more information click here

Bluebells and Bracken (28 April 2019)

If you go into the woods today … you’ll be greeted with a beautiful carpet of vibrant bluebells amongst an enchanting tree canopy. Since 1998, native bluebells have been protected by Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in the UK.  If you visit the bluebells in BigWood, Warrenpoint, please do not trample them  or pick them and use the designated paths/trails.

Bluebell woods are particularly sensitive to footfall and if their leaves are damaged they can struggle to grow back.  The Irish Bluebell population is significant internationally as it is globally threatened due to destruction of habitat and hybridisation with the Spanish Bluebell.  

In folklore, bluebells are often called ‘fairy flowers’ and it is said that the bluebell flower’s bell could call the fairies when rung. A white bluebell occurs once in every 10,000 so you will spot an occasional white bluebell amongst the sea of blue.  In the words of Emily Bronte

“The Bluebell is the sweetest flower,

That waves in summer air:

Its blossoms have the mightiest power,

To soothe my spirit’s care.”

Memories from Corrakit, Omeath (21 April 2019)

Today's photo comes from Sinéad Larkin from Dromintee, South Armagh, who now lives in Belfast but continues to be a frequent visitor to the Cooley peninsula.

The photo is very personal in nature being the home of Sinéad's grandparents Francis & Minnie O'Hagan (nee O'Neill from Glenmore). The house at Corrakit, Omeath is no longer occupied but is lovingly maintained by Sinéad's uncle Charlie O'Hagan, who, when building his own house did not demolish the house in recognition of its significance to the O'Hagan clan, 17 generations of the family having been reared in the house.

The O'Hagan homestead sits above Omeath at the foot of Slieve Foy overlooking the stunning Carlingford Lough towards Warrenpoint and the Mournes beyond.

In years gone by it and the area in which it sits was the childhood playground of Sinéad and her siblings who travelled on a weekly basis to stay with their grandparents. And what a spectacular playground it was and remains. Nestled in beneath Slieve Foy with Anna Bog and the Long Womans Grave within easy reach the opportunities to create many happy memories which remain vivid to this day were ample. Thankfully the area remains virtually unchanged.

Views from Slieve Binnian (14 April 2019)

This week's photo comes from Conrad Madden and features stunning views overlooking Ben Crom Reservoir from the north side slope of Slieve Binnian. In the distance is Slieve Bearnagh to the left and Slieve Donard far right. To view the dam walk from Carrick Little car park on the Head Road, Annalong. Well worth the walk to witness these stunning views.

Conrad is based in Warrenpoint and loves getting up into the hills with the camera to capture the beauty of what we have on our doorstep. You can view more of Conrad’s work on his website:
https://www.conradmaddenphotography.com
and keep an eye out on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Conrad-Madden-Photography-Video-176046169073624 and his twitter page https://www.twitter.com/CMPWarrenpoint for some amazing photographs and video showcasing our beautiful surroundings.

The Fairy Glen (07 April 2019)
Earlier in the week we travelled to Rostrevor and took in the beauty of Kilbroney Park and the Fairy Glen. Belfast born CS Lewis spent a lot of time in Mourne country and referring to the area said "I yearn to see County Down in the snow, one almost expects to see a march of dwarfs dashing past. How I long to break into a world where such things were true" and in a letter to his brother he said "That part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia" This picture is of 'The Fairy Glen' / 'Gleann Sí' - the home of the 'wee folk' which stands at the entrance to the beautiful Kilbroney Forest Park, the home of the Narnia trail which leads you into a magical world. Check out more things to do around Rostrevor on our website: http://www.lochcairlinn.com/Towns/Rostrevor
Seatruck Performance (31 March 2019)
Our photo of the week comes from Jason Ruddy who lives in Warrenpoint. It features the Seatruck Performance heading into Warrenpoint Port on a calm Carlingford Lough earlier in the week. Jason is a keen photographer and you can follow him on Twitter (@jasonruddy04) or Instagram (@jason_ruddy87). The Seatruck Performance is now a familiar sight on Carlingford Lough along with its sister ship Seatruck Precision. It was built in 2012 and currently sailing under the flag of The Isle of Man. It is one of four identical 'Roro 2200' design sister ships designed and built for Seatruck Ferries in Germany. From September 2012 - August 2018 the cargo ship was renamed to Stena Performer for use on the Stena line Belfast to Heysham route. On Friday 31st August 2018 she departed Heysham as 'Seatruck Performance' in her reapplied seatruck livery for her first crossing to Warrenpoint arriving around 7am on 1st September. (https://www.niferry.co.uk/seatruck-performance-9506227/)
Moonlight over Carlingford Lough (24 March 2019)
Our photo of the week features a beautiful moonlight over Carlingford Lough. We dedicate this to the 3 young people who tragically lost their lives in the Carlingford area last week. Rest in Peace Ruth Maguire, Shane McAnallen and Martin Patterson. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank An Garda Síochána, The Irish Coastguards and Rescue 116, Greenore & Clogherhead Coastguards, South Down Coastguards, Mourne Mountain Rescue, Clogherhead, Kilkeel and Newcastle RNLI, HM Coastguard, Irish Red Cross and all the local residents who helped out.
Sheep and Snow on the Cooley Peninsula (17 March 2019)
Our photo of the week comes from Alice Duffy. She captured this unusual scene featuring blue skies, eager sheep and snow covered Cooley mountains last Monday. Alice is originally from Jenkinstown, but has been living in America since 1991. She has spent, 18 years in Chicago, Illinois and has been living in Dallas, Fort Worth since 2010. Texas people remind her a lot of Irish people, very welcoming and laid back. Texas scenery however is so flat,miles and miles of farmland fields mostly for cattle rearing. She likes to come home as often as she can and loves taking in the "air" at Greenore and Carlingford, enjoying the Cooley mountains and farm life. "You have to go away to appreciate the beauty of the peninsula ! Its fabulous. There is no place like home !"
Narrow Water Keep (10 March 2019)

A photo taken of Narrow Water Keep in Carlingford Lough by Gavin Curtis, a local pilot based in Newry. Gavin is a keen flyer and his aerial photography has attracted interest from other pilots further afield who plan future visits to the local Carlingford Lough area. Gavin flies extensively in Europe but it is his Carlingford Lough photos that have won recognition including ‘Photo of the Month’ in the Pilots Magazine. Some of Gavins trips can be followed on https://youtu.be/GhmxeXiumCo or https://youtu.be/mKjy1R9wlB8

The Silent Valley from Slieve Binnian (03 March 2019)
Thanks to James M Carlisle for this stunning capture of the Silent Valley from Slieve Binnian earlier in the week. James is a 66 year old retired civil engineer. He is from North Wales originally but has lived in Carrickmacross this last 20 years. He walks extensively in the Mournes and the Cooley's. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesCarlislef1 and instagram @mckenzief1
Slieve Bearnagh and the Mourne Wall (24 February 2019)
Our photo of the week features the famous Mourne Wall stunningly captured by Paddy Higgins. Paddy is an amateur photographer from Warrenpoint. His main passion is Landscape and Seascape photography but he also enjoys doing studio portrait shots. He loves to travel and has recently returned from a 3 week overland trip through Spain and Morocco where he drove over the snow covered Atlas Mountains and wild camped in the Sahara desert. Paddy always trys to get to the Mournes at least once a week. His favourite peak is Bearnagh and his favourite walk is to follow the Trassey River up to Hare's Gap then across Slievenaglogh, Slieve Corragh and up to the summit of Slieve Commedagh. Check out some of Paddy's photographs on his twitter account: @higginspaddy or his instagram account: @paddyhiggins
Carlingford's Shops and Pubs (17 February 2019)
This great collage of photos of some of Carlingford's Shops and Pubs is taken from a larger album of photos from Niccolò Mancini and features as our photo of the week. Niccolò is from Milan, Italy but is living in Dundalk and is a keen photographer. You can view the full album of pictures on his facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/hodos.fotografia
Proleek Dolmen (10 February 2019)
The Proleek Dolmen is set in the grounds of Ballymascanlon Hotel and it is one of the finest examples of a portal tomb /dolmen in Ireland. It dates to about 3000BC and is over 3m in height and has a huge capstone that weighs over 35 tons. This picture was taken earlier in the week. You can find out more about the Proleek Dolmen here: http://www.lochcairlinn.com/Places/Proleek-Dolmen
Sunset over the Mournes (03 February 2019)
Hope you enjoy this beautiful photo from Jen Duffield. It is a view of the Mournes at sunset from the windy gap in Dromara and is one of Jen's favourite views. Jen is a keen photographer and sunset is her favourite time to photograph the Mournes. She spends most of her free time photographing the Dromara hills or hiking the Mournes with her camera. You can follow Jen on twitter at @jennyd198 and on instagram at @its_a_jenny_thing
Snowy Slieve Foye (27 January 2019)
This week's photo of the week comes from Derek Watters. It's the summit of Slieve Foye, Co Louth's high point at 588m taken last Tuesday. The first snow of 2019 fell on Monday night with an additional fall on Tuesday. Windchill was -7C. Derek is a qualified mountain leader and climbs Slieve Foye almost daily (300 times in 2018). He does miss the occasional day but never a snow day! He is passionate about mountain safety and can't emphasise enough that people should be mindful of the dangers on the mountains.
Dancing Light (19 January 2019)
This week's photo of the week comes from Dara Curran. This was taken from a walk in Kilbroney Forest Park earlier this week, where Dara found the perfect resting stop to take in the dancing light over Carlingford Lough. Dara is no stranger to the mountains around Carlingford Lough and is a keen photographer. You can follow him on twitter @hashtagdara and instagram: https://www.instagram.com/backpackandcraic/
View from the Bridge (12 January 2019)
Our photo of the week comes from Steve Cheeseman who is a captain with Seatruck Ferries. He captured this beautiful sunrise at Warrenpoint last Tuesday morning. He is in Warrenpoint most days and thinks that it is definitely one of the nicest ports in the world!
Winter Sun (06 January 2019)
A view over the entrance of Carlingford Lough. The sun came out for a while to warm these two, giving a nice orange glow to the scenery
Shelling Hill Beach (29 December 2018)
This week's' photo was sent into us from Audri Marrs who is visiting the area from Denver, Colorado. A beautiful December sun setting on Shelling Hill Beach.
The Peace Stone (23 December 2018)
This week’s photo of the week features ‘The Peace Stone’, Warrenpoint.
This granite standing stone on the promenade at Warrenpoint was dedicated to peace as part of millennium peace promoting projects in August 2000.
Cooley Sunrise (16 December 2018)
"There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them"

Jo Walton

This week's photo of the week comes from Ann Larkin. She captured this beautiful sunrise earlier in the week on a morning walk on the Cooley Peninsula. We love the colours and the reflection of the sky in the puddles.
'Tis the season (10 December 2018)
This week's photo of the week features the beautiful Christmas lights at Fitzpatricks Bar and Restaurant in Jenkinstown on the Cooley Peninsula. Well worth a visit to check out the decorations alone.
Rainbow (02 December 2018)
This week's photo of the week comes all the way from New York. Catriona Cullum is a RN (Registered Nurse) in NYC. Her mother is from Mucklagh on the Cooley Peninsula. When in Ireland she spends as much time in Mucklagh as she can and her picture shows a beautiful rainbow over Mucklagh.
Carlingford Lough (27 November 2018)
A view of the majestic mournes from a still and peaceful Carlingford Lough at Carlingford. Even on a cloudy day the view is stunning.
Gyles Quay (18 November 2018)
Gyles Quay is a small seaside village and was named after Ross Gyles who built a wooden pier there in 1780 which was replaced with the present day stone pier in 1824. In the 19th century its location made it convenient for illegal smuggling of wine and tobacco. To help curb this smuggling a coast guard watch station was constructed in 1823. A small village grew around the pier A row of pretty coastguard cottages are still standing and in use as private residences.
Autumn Views (11 November 2018)
Beautiful Autumnal views from Ravensdale Forest Park. The forest is located in the wooded demesne of the former Lord Clermont’s estate. There was a house called Ravensdale Park but it was destroyed during the troubles in the 1920s. It is well worth a visit for a picnic and/or the beautiful forest roads and trails. There are three way marked trails in the forest, the Tain Trail, the Ring of Gullion and the shorter 1.5km Ravensdale Loop trail.