Winner announced in the RTÉ Eye on Nature Photography Competition
Red Squirrel (Iora rua, Sciurus vulgaris) – Jimmy Mc Donnell, Co. Wicklow
Online gallery of finalists and runners up: rte.ie/eyeonnature
A strikingly beautiful image of a Red Squirrel (Iora rua, Sciurus vulgaris) taken by Jimmy Mc Donnell from Newcastle Co. Wicklow has just been announced as the overall winner in the RTÉ Eye On Nature wildlife photography competition.
RTÉ and the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland with the Office of Public Works launched this year’s competition in January 2022 on Mooney Goes Wild on RTÉ Radio 1 and Today on RTÉ One. RTÉ Presenter Derek Mooney, was in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin to announce the overall winner.
Earlier today all 12 finalists in the competition gathered at the National Botanic Gardens where they got to see their large-scale images displayed. Throughout the Today show on RTÉ One this afternoon, Derek spoke with each finalist about their image and how they captured it.
The judging panel were Dr Matthew Jebb (Director, National Botanic Gardens), Anne Sommerfield (award-winning filmmaker) and Mike Brown (award-winning wildlife photographer.) This competition celebrates the flora and fauna of our island. It received an overwhelming response with more than 3,000 entries.
The judges narrowed 100 photos down to the final 12 images before selecting the overall winning image. All these photographs represent the rich natural heritage that Ireland has to offer, showcasing our island’s biodiversity.
After a difficult selection process, the judges selected Jimmy’s image as the overall winner as ‘it is the perfect combination of art and technique. Technically it is very well taken but has an artistic feel to it. Almost a painterly quality.’
Dr. Matthew Jebb, Director, National Botanic Gardens said “It’s the pose. There is a lot of character in that squirrel, and the beautiful colours, It’s sharp, it’s well composed. it’s got everything that a good photo needs.”
After he was announced as the winning photographer Jimmy Mc Donnell said: ” I’m delighted. I’ve had a wonderful day and it’s been fantastic chatting to all of the other photographers. I’m just over the moon. It’s the first competition I’ve ever entered so I’m thrilled to bits.”
Jimmy continued to tell Derek that he took his image “in a woodland close to home, on a cool April morning and I really have to thank the red squirrel for striking that pose because it’s all about the pose and the lovely light in the background.”
Jimmy was presented with the RTÉ Eye on Nature trophy and a prize of €1,000.
An online gallery featuring the 12 finalists’ photographs along with a further eight runner-up images was launched last week at rte.ie/eyeonnature
The 12 finalists images will be displayed in Glasnevin until June 5th. It will then move to Dublin Castle, where along with all 12 of this year’s finalist images, the final 12 images in the 2021 competition will also be displayed. In the coming months, the exhibition will travel to other Office of Public Works sites across the country including Portumna Castle and Athenry Castle.
For more see rte.ie/eyeonnature
12 Finalists –
- **Winner ** Red squirrel (Iora rua, Sciurus vulgaris) – Jimmy Mc Donnell, Newcastle Co. Wicklow
- Badger (Broc, Meles meles) – Tristan Bane, Ards Peninsula, Co. Down. (originally from Belturbet Co Cavan) – made the final 12 in 2021 competition also.
- Red squirrel (Iora rua, Sciurus vulgaris) – Declan Roche, from Wexford. Photo taken at Ballyfin, Co. Laois
- Multiple mating frogs (Loscán, Rana temporaria) – Paddy Tubbritt, Avondale, Waterford City
- Red Stag (Fia rua, Cervus elaphus) – Peter O’Toole, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry
- Mute Swan (Eala bhalbh, Cygnus olor) – Sue Butler, Bushy Park Dublin
- Two Red squirrels (Iora rua, Sciurus vulgaris) – Michael Allen, Kildanogue Woods, Co. Tipperary
- Black-headed Gulls (Sléibhín, Larus ridibundus) – Davor Goll, Poppintree Park, Dublin
- Cormorant with brown trout (Broigheall, Phalacrocorax carbo; Eascann, Anquilla anquilla) – Philip Duke, River Dodder, Rathfarnham, Dublin
- Hare (Giorria, Lepus timidus) – Stephen Dunbar, Glenwherry, Co. Antrim
- Red stag (Fia rua, Cervus elaphus) – Karol Waszkiewicz, from Tralee. Photo taken Lough Leane, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry
- Fox (Sionnach, Vulpes vulpes) – Michael Crowley, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Merit Board Runners-up –
- Puffin (Puifín, Fratercula arctica) – Christine Taylor, Great Saltee Island, Co. Wexford
- Bar-tailed godwit (Guilbneach stríocearrach, Limosa lapponica) – John Murphy, Carne, Co. Wexford
- Damselfly (Béchuil, Pyrrhosoma nymphula) – Robbie O’ Leary, National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow
- Rock Pipit (Riabhóg Chladaigh, Anthus petrosus) – Gerry Butler, Great Saltee Island, Co. Wexford
- Pine Marten (Cat Crainn, Martes martes) – David O’ Brien, Ballyfin, Co. Laois
- Two starlings (Druid, Sturnus vulgaris) – Derek Griffin, Portarlington, Co. Laois
- Little Grebe (Spágaire tonn, Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Philip Evans, Lough Corrib, Knockferry, Co. Galway
- Black-headed Gull (Sléibhín, Larus ridibundus) – Allan Lynch, Rossmore Pier, Co. Galway