Pope Francis is due to visit Ireland later this month for the World Meeting of Families, however, he has already made his mark on one Irish town.
A giant scarecrow model of the pontiff has won joint-first prize in the popular annual Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Durrow, Co Laois.
As previously reported in The Catholic Universe, the massive model of the Holy Father in his popemobile was created by the Conahy Vintage Club.
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.
Ms Clancy added: “People expect it, King Kong was higher than a two-storey house, people have that expectation from this group of men.”
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 you press a button the scarecrow pope waves.
Money raised from visitors to the festival is reinvested in the community, Ms Clancy said.
Picture: The pope made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durrow, Co Laois. (Niall Carson/PA Wire).