Snap decision to ban this photo from competition is reversed
A shopping centre has come under fire for disqualifying a finalist in its photography competition following an unfounded allegation – then apologising and re-entering her.
People took to the Richmond Centre's Facebook page to criticise its decision to remove a stunning photograph by amateur photographer Shauna McFall of Co Antrim's famous Dark Hedges.
It followed a complaint falsely alleging that Ms McFall was a professional photographer. The rules of the Picture Northern Ireland Photography Competition state that it is open to amateur photographers only.
People have until today to 'like' the competition's four finalist images – including Ms McFall's. The image with most likes wins a two-night hotel stay and a camera.
On Monday, the Londonderry shopping centre posted an apology to Ms McFall on its Facebook page.
"The Richmond Centre would like to issue an apology. We were told that Shauna McFall was a professional photographer. Having discussed the matter with Shauna, we can clear up the matter and confirm that this is only a small part of her business, and is in no way her main means of income," it said.
However, it was unclear whether the hundreds of 'likes' her image received will be taken into account, despite several posts by people calling for this.
Commenting on the shopping centre's Facebook page earlier this week, Ms McFall said the centre had not clarified what happened.
"They received a complaint, made a half-hearted attempt to investigate it, and then changed the rules to allow the picture to be disqualified. When I presented them with the original rules, they reinstated the picture."
But speaking yesterday, Ms McFall said the matter had been resolved satisfactorily.
The Richmond Centre did not respond to requests for a comment.