All-Ireland camogie player wins this year’s Texaco children’s art competition

Winning entry from Naoise Hennessy (16) “worthy of a place in any public gallery”

In a house with three football mad older brothers, getting a chance to paint or colour gives six-year-old Fallon Murphy a rare quiet moment in her Kilgarvan home.

Fallon is one of over 120 prize winners of this year's Texaco children's art competition, coming second in the category for those six years old and under.

“She was always colouring but she started art classes in September,” her mother Joanna said. “She’s got three older brothers big into football, so this is a totally new thing for us all,” she said.

The parents got a phone call in recent weeks informing them Fallon was one of this year’s prize winners. “It was so exciting, she was absolutely thrilled, she was nearly crying,” Joanna said.


The competition, on the go since 1955, received over 25,000 entries this year from young people across the country.

The winners will receive their prizes during a ceremony at Johnstown Estate Hotel, in Enfield, Co Meath next month.

The overall winner of the competition this year was Naoise Hennessy (16) from Craanford, Co Wexford. Her winning artwork was a watercolour pencil portrait of an elderly woman, which judges described as "a finely detailed study that so perfectly captures the features and character of the subject."

This is the first time Ms Hennessy has entered the competition, and she draws at home rather than in an art class.

Her family found out the news she had won about two weeks ago, she said.“They couldn’t believe it, my mam had to sit down, she was shaking she was so happy,” she said.

She spent five days drawing the face of the winning portrait.

The teenager works on her art at the weekends, in between playing camogie - as she is also an under-16 All Ireland medal winner for Wexford.

As the overall winner, she will get a cash prize of €1,500, and a trip to Tokyo in August to see an international art festival in Japan's national arts centre.

Gary Granville, chair of the judging panel and professor emeritus of the National College of Art and Design, described her winning entry, titled 'Lifelines', as a piece "worthy of a place in any public gallery."

James Twohig, operations director of Texaco fuel in Ireland, said it was “extremely gratifying to know that our young people continue to show an enduring interest in art”, despite the numerous other attractions available in the modern age.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times