For anyone with an interest in diving or snorkeling, the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone is the place to be on March 5 and 6 for the Dive International 2016 event, which is being hosted for the fourth time by Athlone Sub Aqua Club.
As well as the CFT (Comhairle Fo-Thuinn ) AGM and Diving Officers conference, the event will feature expert speakers on a wide range of topics.
They include Dr Alexander Mustard, who has worked as an underwater photographer for 12 years and won several awards including the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition in 2015. His eagerly anticipated new book Underwater Photography Masterclass is due to be released this spring.
Daragh Muldowney of Dúlra Photography will also speak at the conference. Daragh’s photography aims to present the smaller details of nature which we can often overlook, and his collection Out of Thin Air won the 2015 FEP European Photobook of the Year award.
A topical subject will be tackled by Dr Eddie Burke, who has a particular interest in the maritime aspects of the 1916 Rising and will speak about the Aud and the Helga shipwrecks and their history.
There will be an increased focus this year on archaeology, with topics including the Streedagh Armada cannon discovery in Sligo. There will also be a discussion on the Irish legislation in relation to underwater archaeology and looking at some of the National Archaeology Society courses and projects.
Members of the the CFT underwater photography group have also put together a great seminar line-up, covering topics from a wide array of contributors including Stewie Andrews, Ivan Donoghue, Nigel Motyer, Steve Warren, Damien McGuirk, Nick Pfeiffer, Mike Orth, Dr Richard Thorn, and Brian Stone - a must for photography enthusiasts, both above and below the water.
Entrance to the dive show is only €5 for each day and kids are free. For further information on the event see ‘DiveIrelandExpo’ on Facebook.