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Award Winner

Festival Season:

April 2024

The Battle of Assaroe

The Battle of Assaroe



Emer O Shea, Michael j McMonagle, Manus Brennan
Emer O Shea, John Hayes


Emer O Shea

Run Time:


Awarded for the following Category(s):

Awarded Category(s)

I was inspired to produce this short documentary (21mins) following a chance encounter at a local lake in the northwest coast of Ireland during the early days of the Covid pandemic. The film explores the history of the lake, its performance as a habitat for the natural world and examines the impact of the hydro electric power station on the landscape of my adopted home town Ballyshannon and on the river Erne. The inclusion of archive and contemporary footage and images bring the viewer down memory lane and poses the question "Where to from here". It has been described as a fabulous blending of art and fact with history, geography, natural history and environmental threats blended into a cohesive whole.

Submitter Statement

Emer, who hails from Kerry has lived in Donegal for over 30 years, has won numerous photographic awards and has had her work published in all national newspapers as well as National Geographic. Her images have featured on TV 3 and RTE 1 and she is a regular contributor to the Irish Times Wildlife columns. She was interviewed for the Derek Mooney show and was nominated to represent Donegal County Council as a judge on National Geographic‘s Travel Photographer of the year in March 2019. Emer has had 7 individual exhibitions with subjects ranging from landscapes to flora and fauna of Donegal as well as travel photography in Cuba.

 For 7 of the last 10 years Emer produced an annual fundraising calander for Northwest Hospice on a pro bono basis. 

The theme of her most recent exhibition in Dublin in February 2020 show was “In the Waters & the Wild “ and celebrated Ireland’s native habitats. The diverse images were captured in locations ranging from Donegal to Dublin and Newbridge to West Cork and appealed to all nature lovers. At the launch of the exhibition – in aid of the Capuchin Day Centre - the guest of honour wildlife broadcaster Dr. Eanna Ni Lamhna described Emer’s images as ”stunning and superb”.

 In appraising her work Professor Tony Bates has said “When I look at these pictures I have a sense of becoming drawn into a world that is alive and aware of me. I can feel that it is not so much that I am looking at something as much as I am listening to Nature speaking, trying to get through to me, willing me to open my eyes. Emer coaxes us to let the beauty of the moments she has captured actually ENTER and OPEN us. There is something radical in her imagery ; its subtle, powerful and it “ shocks us “ into waking up“.

Key Cast

Easkey Britton - "Documentary Contributor"

Conor Carney

Other Credits

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