Giant scarecrow in image of Pope triumphs at Durrow festival

Straw creation of Pontiff in his popemobile is star of the annual show in Co Laois

A Pope and popemobile which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A Pope and popemobile which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A giant scarecrow version of Pope Francis has won joint-first prize in a competition at the Durrow Scarecrow Festival.

The pontiff is due to visit the Republic later this month.

The massive model of Pope Francis in his popemobile was created by a group of men in Durrow, Co Laois, for the popular annual festival.

Chairwoman of the Durrow Development Forum, Evelyn Clancy, said there had been a huge amount of interest from across Ireland.

The festival is known for its topical depictions, from Donald Trump to King Kong.

“People expect it, King Kong was higher than a two-storey house, people have that expectation from this group of men,” said Ms Clancy.

Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The talented and creative group behind the creation includes engineers and carpenters who have put many evenings of work into their scarecrow.

Chairman of the Conahy Vintage Club, Michael Bergin, told the Leinster Express they enjoyed the camaraderie.

“We always think that big is beautiful. There was work for everybody in it from steel to straw, overalls, shoes down to making tea and having a chat. You make it up as you go along.”

The group added lights to the popemobile and when a button is pressed, the scarecrow Pope waves.

Money raised from visitors to the festival is reinvested in the community, Ms Clancy said.