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Get ready for Dive Ireland 2016



Dive Ireland 2016

ad9023_img1_largeThe Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone, Co. Westmeath is the place to be on the 5th and 6th of March for Dive Ireland 2016.

As well as the CFT(the Irish Underwater Council)’s AGM and Diving Officer’s conference, there will also be dive companies exhibiting at the two day event, including Scubapro, Mares, O’Three, Aquaholics, Mevagh Dive Centre, Scuba Dive West, Safari Diving Lanzarote, and many more.

There will also be talks and seminars from some of the best known names in diving. Speakers at Dive Ireland 2016 include:

Guest Speakers

Dr Alexander Mustard

Dive Ireland 2016Dr Alexander Mustard has been taking underwater photographs for over 30 years and has worked as a full-time underwater photographer for the last 12 years. His photographs have attracted many awards including being category winners in both the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and British Wildlife Photography Awards. His last book, Reefs Revealed, won the International Grand Prize for the best book of underwater photographs. In 2013, he was named European Wildlife Photographer of the Year as the overall winner of the GDT contest – the first time an underwater photograph has won this prestigious award.

In 2015, he founded the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition and has acted as a judge for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography. His new book, Underwater Photography Masterclass, is the most eagerly anticipated publication on the topic for many years and will be released in spring 2016.

Alex is a regular contributor to many publications in the marine, wildlife, diving and photographic media, and to date has published more than 400 articles. In addition to various features, he currently writes two monthly columns on underwater photography: IMAGES Column for Sport Diver (USA) and Be The Champ for DIVER Magazine (UK). He was one of the team for the 2020VISION conservation photography project in the UK. He also runs highly popular underwater photography workshops at top diving destinations around the world.

Daragh Muldowney

Daragh-Muldowney-BioDaragh Muldowney’s interest in photography originally developed when he completed a Scuba Diving course in 1992, where he was awestruck by the experience of being underwater.

Without the use of artificial light or filters, his photography aims to present the smaller details of nature that we often overlook. As a result, his work gently reminds us to appreciate our beautiful planet. Daragh is a full-time professional photographer working as Dúlra Photography which he established in February 2003.

Daragh’s commitment to developing his work was further demonstrated when he travelled across the Sahara in Morocco and then trekked across glaciers in Iceland, taking photographs of the opposing climates and conditions. The images from the two trips were launched in 2007 as his first themed exhibition called ‘Sand & Ice’. A couple of years later he took on the exploration of Ireland’s rock pools which was to become ‘Jewellery Box Ireland’s Hidden Gems’, an exhibition that has travelled all over the world.

In 2013, Daragh set sail aboard the Killary Flyer to Greenland to create a new body of work entitled ‘Out of Thin Air’. The collection proved to be the most popular yet, winning the FEP European Photobook of the Year award for 2015 in the Landscape category. In 2015, Daragh was due to return to Greenland, but this time to photograph the icebergs from under the water. Unfortunately the trip did not take place; however, the summer of 2015 was not wasted – Daragh embarked on a trip around Ireland making long exposure underwater images, which will be presented at Dive Ireland 2016.

Dr Eddie Bourke

dr-eddie-bourke_0Dr Eddie Bourke has been diving for 30 years with Viking Sub Aqua club in Dublin and developed an interest in shipwrecks through diving. He is the author of three volumes of shipwrecks off the Irish coast and a photo book on shipwrecks as well as the story of the Tayleur.

He is also the author of the Story of Guinness – the family, the business and the black stuff. Currently working on a history of spying in the war of independence, he is interested in all aspects of maritime and Irish history. Eddie will be talking about the links that are still alive between the Irish today and the 1916 Rising, looking at both the Aud and the Helga shipwrecks and their history.

National Archaeology Society

Nautical_Archaeology_Society_logoThis year there will be more in the area of archeology introduced at Dive Ireland 2016. NAS have come with up a few different topics that will be presented, including the Streedagh Armada cannon discovery in Co Sligo. This discovery and subsequent retrieval from the sea showed how different groups can work well together to preserve Ireland’s historical artefacts.

NAS will also discuss the legislation in Ireland in relation to underwater archaeology and looking at some of the National Archaeology Society courses and projects.

Underwater Photography Speakers

Stewie Andrews

stewie-andrewsStewie Andrews has been diving for 28 years and has enjoyed rebreather diving for 12 of those. He is a recent convert to deep water photography. It started with two years trying to master steady GoPro video at depths down to 160m and progressed to two interesting years of still photography in depths ranging from 64 to 132 metres. Deep diving, in itself, is challenging – however, taking photographs is a great way to document the exploration and share the experience.

The challenges of Deep Water Photography are many. Years of preparation and expense are involved in building up your diving techniques and each dive brings the challenges of long boat journeys offshore – some as far as 75 miles out. The real fun starts with choosing cameras which are light sensitive enough and housings which can go deep enough. The only decisions left are how do you con a diver to model the scene, how do you light it and how many thousand ISOs can you tolerate?

Ivan Donoghue

ivan-2015Ivan Donoghue began diving with Wexford Sub Aqua Club in 1990. By 1996, he had purchased a second-hand Nikonos V underwater film camera. The advent of digital helped improve his photography, but he claims that working on the CFT underwater course with likeminded Irish shooters had the greatest benefit of all.

Ivan has published several articles for Subsea over the years. He has won the Scubadive West underwater competition and was placed in An Taisce’s “Love your coast” competition. None of this would be possible without the friends who have patiently modelled for him underwater, or waited for him to finally surface.

Ivan will happily dive in a puddle… but only if it’s deep enough to take a camera or at least half submerge to allow a split shot. There is nothing that makes him happier than seeing how underwater photography has flourished within CFT in recent years and how it is now one of the prime reasons that people begin or continue to dive.

Underwater Photography Seminar Speakers

Nigel Motyer

8298980Nigel Motyer is a well-known teaching and speaking personality on the Irish underwater photography scene. He began diving in the early 80s and first picked up a camera shortly after that in 1987. Since then, it is his passion for the challenge of underwater photography that has kept up his interest in diving.

Nigel’s photography has been widely published around the world, including Subsea, Diver, Sport Diver, and Dive, as well as National Geographic Magazine. Nigel has travelled widely to a great many destinations over the last 25 years, but most recently he has focused on great shark destinations. Sharks have always been his passion despite being bitten by a rather over curious silky shark in the Pacific in 1995.

Nigel lives in Malahide, Co Dublin, with his wife, Sinead, and their two children, Hannah and Ben. A speaker at many a dive show, his level of photography knowledge – and his absolute passion for diving – will be clearly evident for all to see.

Steve Warren

steve uw stageSteve has worked extensively in the diving media since 1992. Book credits include technical editor of the UK Divers Source and contributing editor to Scuba Diving. He provided images, including cover shots, for Underwater Gibraltar. He has also provided consultancy services to other authors. He was technical and contributing editor of Dive International Magazine and designed consumer equipment testing and major safety projects for it and its successor, Dive. He has also written for Scuba World Magazine, Australian Freediving and Spearfishing News, Underwater Photography Magazine, Historical Diving Times, The Sea and Gibraltar Magazine. He now writes for Diver Magazine.

Steve has been a main speaker at a number of Diver Magazine’s Dive Shows. He has worked as a professional underwater cameraman on the BBC’s Marchioness – a Survivors Story and directed and filmed the diving sequences for seasons one, two and three of Channel Five’s Gibraltar – Britain in the Sun. He was a consultant to the Underwater Channel and is one of the founding team of Your Diving TV.

Brian Stone

CZpQKCzW0AAr_28Brian Stone is a very experienced diver and underwater photographer. Brian is a university lecturer and researcher working in the area of marine image analysis in Dublin City University. He is currently involved with MESTECH, the Marine & Environmental Sensing Hub ( which includes the Irish Marine Institute, the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) and DCU.

Brian is also involved through his marine research with Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics, which is the largest research group in Ireland. The work dealt with in his project is part of the Smart Bay project, based in Galway Bay. This project is a test bed for new marine technologies, ranging from power generation to environmental science and marine biology. This technology is being developed alongside other marine sensing technologies for the purpose of gathering and analysing marine data in order to conduct research into changing marine environmental conditions, conservation and environmental surveying.

Damien McGuirk

downloadDamien (aka Merrow Ti Ti) shot his first roll of film with an underwater camera in 1993, but didn’t embrace uw photography properly until 2006. Since then, he has been a voracious student of underwater photography with workshop trips to many parts of the world with such luminaries of the underwater photography world as Alex Mustard. His work has featured in Subsea and he has been successful on several occasions in having his images placed in An Taisce’s Clean Coast competition.

Nick Pfeiffer

photo-Nick-767x10241Nick Pfeiffer is an environmental scientist, diver and underwater photographer. He currently works with MERC Environmental and is well known in Ireland for his land and underwater photography and for his commercial work in the fishery industry. Recently Nick was featured in the Irish Times with some of his stunning images of the blue sharks which can be found off Irish shores.

Mike Orth

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAHSAAAAJGZlMmI4NDNmLTIxMWItNGNmYy1hOTc1LWY2YzhjNjc2YzRlZAMike Orth is the current President of CFT. His job description on Facebook lists “Irish Underwater Council’s Diving Evangelist”. Mike uses GoPro footage to create short videos promoting the club diving scene – with more footage above water than below. More technical knowhow than artistic skill, he hopes a few dive show attendees can use his hints, tips and advice to create their own advertisements for next dive season. Mike’s compilation of the South east dive rally won the award for best video at the Vincent O’Brien Memorial Competition in 2014.

Dr. Richard Thorn

28c6082Dr. Richard Thorn is a past President and National Diving Officer of CFT and has been diving for over 20 years. He has been taking land photographs for almost 50 years and for the last six, has transferred his interest to taking underwater photographs, with a particular interest in making images while snorkelling and breath hold diving. His photography is a companion activity to his academic research and travel writing, and his written work and images have been published in many magazines, including, in Ireland, Subsea and Outsider. He is currently studying photography at the Open College of the Arts in the UK.

Dive Ireland 2016 will be hosted by Athlone Sub Aqua Club for the fourth time. Entrance to the dive show is only €5 for each day and kids go free. For directions and a look at the hotel, check out

To find out more about the Irish Underwater Council visit




Gear News

Jeff chats to… Sean Webb, Director of O’Three, about diving in the UK and the O’Three brand



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Sean Webb, Director of O’Three, the well-known UK-based manufacturer of custom drysuits and wetsuits.

After a bath time quarrel with his sister, Sean’s Mum taught him a lesson.

She held his head underwater for what she thought was long enough for that lesson to sink in (We are talking the mid 60’s here), but the lesson learned wasn’t the one that was intended. It was then that Sean realized he was comfortable, in or under the water. He was six.

The coasts of Devon and Dorset became his playground. 17 years later, with a trip around the world and some incredible diving under his belt, Sean Webb founded O’Three.

Now in its 32nd  year, O’Three has evolved from a business with roots that are unashamedly rooted in UK diving, to a niche brand being enjoyed all over the world by discerning recreational, technical and commercial divers alike.

Find out more at

Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Cool Drysuit Dives



In the mood for a snowy holiday when you can get back into the water? Why not get back to your favourite underwater sport instead of hitting the slopes like everyone else? Check these incredible dive sites and explore a new underwater world in your drysuit!

Rummu Quarry, Estonia

The quirkiest and spookiest ice diving site in Europe is only 45 minutes driving from the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. Rummu Quarry used to be a limestone mining site and a prison. When the excavation labour ceased in the 1990s, pumps that kept the quarry dry were shut down. Soon water started flooding the entire site. After the prison closed in 2012, Rummu became an adventure centre where you can practice different outdoor sports including diving in the crystal-clear waters of the quarry and explore the sunken ruins of the prison. Diving in Rummu Quarry is also available in the winter, making it a one-of-a-kind ice diving spot. Will you dare to do it?

Who to Dive With:

Adventurecenter Rummu

PADI 5 Star Center

Sireli Tanav 11, Harju Maakond, Rummu Quarry, Estonia 76102

+372 588 733 78

White Sea, Russia

Image by Viktor Lyagushkin

If diving in frozen lakes, which have almost no aquatic life, is not exciting enough for you, Russia is the place to go to practice marine ice diving. At the level of the Arctic Circle, the White Sea is the only sea that freezes in winter as all other places are warmed up by the Gulf Stream. Leaving from the shores of the region of Karelia, between St Petersburg and the border of Finland, you can go ice diving from December to April. In addition to impressive ice formations, you can also enjoy on the rocky sea-bed a surprise abundant marine fauna with soft coral, starfish, crabs, shrimps, sea urchins and sea anemones. An important point to remember, salt-water freezes at -1.8°C!

Who to Dive With:

Arctic Circle

PADI Dive Center

Nilmaguba, Loukhski Region, Republic of Karelia, Russia

(7) 495 105 7799


You won’t find salty seas in Switzerland, but alpine lakes and rivers make for unique and mystical scuba diving.

Lake Geneva has a variety of dives to discover. Wall dives and freshwater scenery can be perused beneath the surface. There is even a wreck dive – a stellar spot for more advanced divers to take the plunge.

Another is Lake Zurich, where you can head to excellent scuba spots right from the shore. The lake is serene, with lofty mountains cascading upward from the lakeshore. Glacially fed, the lake has sublime visibility.

River divers will be blown away by the Verzasca, an impossibly clear river found just south of the Alps near the border of Italy.

Who to Dive with at Lake Geneva:

Scuba-Shop Villeneuve

PADI 5 Star Center and Instructor Development Center

Route D’Arvel 106, Villeneuve, Switzerland 1844

+41 21 9601535


Salzburg Lake Image by Manfred Steidl

Landlocked Austria wouldn’t seem a good place for diving, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The Salzkammergut region of Austria has almost 170 lakes. A favourite is lake Attersee, where there are dive sites galore to check out, in this, the largest of the area’s lakes. Nazi treasures were once held in Wolfgangsee, and though you can’t take them with you, you can still see them on a dive.

During a trip here you can swim in the cold, gin clear water, checking out park benches, trees, and trails, all on a carpet of green grass. It’s unreal!

Who to Dive with at Salzburg Lakes:

Joe’s Wassersportcenter

PADI 5 Star Center

Innsbrucker Bundesstrasse 53, Salzburg, Austria 5020

+43 662 890259

Inspired to start your own ice diving adventure? Find out more about the PADI Ice Diver specialty and head to PADI Travel to look for amazing destinations.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

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