Dolphin photos cause splash on Facebook page

Dolphins. INLT 21-676-CON

Dolphins. INLT 21-676-CON

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Stunning pictures which capture a school of dolphins off the east Antrim coastline have become an online hit.

Larne couple Maria and Thomas Lehd were out for a Sunday drive with their teenage daughter Shannon when they spotted the normally elusive mammals at Ballygally.

The family followed them all the way to Carnlough, taking a series of fantastic shots over the space of about 90 minutes.

And when they returned to their home at Whinfield, Maria immediately uploaded the pictures to the Memories of Larne Facebook page.

They quickly garnered high praise from members of the group, and have become one of the most popular posts in the site’s history.

Speaking to the Larne Times, 43-year-old Maria said she was “delighted” with how the photographs had turned out.

“We were driving along the Coast Road and noticed a lot of cars had stopped just after Ballygally.

“When we saw the dolphins, we got our camera and Thomas and I took it in turns to take pictures.

“I counted about 20 of them, and they stayed in close to the shore up until Glenarm. By the time we got to Carnlough, they were too far out to follow.”

The pictures have so far received about 230 ‘likes’ on Facebook.

“I have received so many great comments from members; I really didn’t expect the pictures to generate so much interest,” Maria added.

One of the founders of the Memories of Larne site, Fiona Holland, said the pictures were “a great showcase for the beautiful scenery right on our doorstep”.

She added: “Larne gets its share of bad publicity sometimes, but it is things like this that help portray it in a positive light and highlight everything that the borough has to offer.

“The Memories of Larne group has really taken off since it was set up about six years ago, and has members from all around the world in countries like South Africa, Canada and Australia.”