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The commonest owl in Ireland I understand.
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)
Very possibly, I have to admit my owl knowledge in my own locality is quite limited.
Long-eared also hunt rough ground adjacent to plantations, so I don't think you could rule Long-eared or Short-eared out from your description.
Flickr pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72243477@N00/
I think it was probably one of those 2 alright. Thanks for comment, I totally agree.
I completely understand why you might suggest a barn owl going by the images, the bird appears basically white. It was well into dusk but not so dark that I wouldnt have been able to see its paleness if it was a barn owl. It was very dark looking until the camera flashed and only then did I get a glimpse of its mottled brown colouration.
It was a weird experience but a nice one. The bird seemed to want to get very close.
Lat/Lng: 54.9871, -6.1103
OS grid ref: NW371735