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The Open at Royal Portrush | Showcasing Northern Ireland in Sand

A giant sand sculpture – created by a group of award-winning sand artists called Sand in Your Eyes – appeared on Downhill Strand this week. It’s part of Tourism Ireland’s latest promotion to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland around the world ahead of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush.

As the excitement builds in the run-up to The Open, Tourism Ireland continues its extensive programme of promotions to leverage the tourism benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime event for NI. The organisation invited a group of talented sand artists to create the unique sculpture.

It depicts five Northern Ireland icons drawn into the coastline: Titanic Belfast, the city walls and the Guildhall in Londonderry, the Dark Hedges, Rory McIlroy swinging a golf club and the direwolf sigil of House Stark from Game of Thrones. To view footage of the sand sculpture, click here.

The temporary work of art was created in low tide. The date of Wednesday, July 3 was specially chosen as it coincided with a favourable tide sequence. This allowed the maximum amount of time for the sand artists to create the sculpture.

Before it disappeared with waves, spectacular drone footage and aerial photos of the art work were captured. These are being shared by Tourism Ireland with millions of followers on its social channels as well as with its broadcast, print and online media contacts across Britain.

“Our sand sculpture is a novel way to highlight Northern Ireland ahead of The 148th Open,” said Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, in a statement. “Our aim is to stimulate the conversation online about Northern Ireland, our world-class golf and the many things to see and do here – and to inspire people everywhere to come and explore Northern Ireland for themselves.”

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