A native Red stag believed to be the largest in Ireland has been photographed in a remote area of Killarney National Park.

Christened 'The Grand Master', the Red Deer stag is likely to be seven to nine years old, according to the Irish Deer Commission.

The stag has scared off younger challengers and gathered around a dozen females for his herd in an upland area of the park.

Hundreds of photographers had arrived in Killarney for the annual rut, which is the breeding season, but it was retired conservation ranger Peter O'Toole who snapped the photo of the giant stag.

The Irish Deer Commission said the stag was in the region of 250kg and approximately six feet in height, including his antlers.

It said the stag has 21 points on its antlers - the norm for a stag's antlers on the lowland is around 12 points, Damien Hannigan of the IDC said.

The organisation has appealed to the public not to go in search of the stag.

"There is tremendous excitement among those of us in the deer world regarding this red stag," Mr Hannigan said.

"This is a remote location. We would ask people to admire the photograph but not to go in search of him and to give him privacy."

There are concerns that the stag may be targeted by trophy hunters, and park rangers are on alert for any unusual activity in the remote region of the park.