Pope Francis has wowed the faithful in Durrow, Co Laois.
While Dublin may be looking forward to a visit from the pontiff as part of the World Meeting of Families later this month, the people of Durrow have already had a glimpse of the Holy Father thanks to this year’s Durrow Scarecrow Festival.
The Conahy Vintage Club have been the overall winner of the festival for the past three years with scarecrows depicting a dinosaur (2015); Noah’s Ark (2016); and King Kong (2017). However, for this year’s competition they have paid tribute to Pope Francis as he prepares to touch down in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families.
“We said, ‘what’s topical at the moment?’ So we came up with the idea of the pope – the pope’s visit,” Michael Bergin, chairman of the Conahy Vintage Club, told RTE.
After deciding on this topic the club then planned to create the popemobile, with Pope Francis standing up and waving to the crowd, along with security places around the vehicle.
Mr Bergin insists that the club doesn’t intend to offend anyone or their beliefs with the scarecrow, adding that he hopes people will see that it has been built in good taste.
“It’s everybody’s imagination really, you know. The big kid coming out in us all,” continued Mr Bergin.
“It’s nice to win, but it’s not always about the winning. It’s the team effort of doing all this. I mean, all the guys outside, every one of them, it’s unbelievable the amount of work that they do.
“There’s something for everybody to do and we have great craic doing it and that’s what it’s all about. We have great camaraderie and if we win it, we all have a night out and it’s good craic.
“I say they’d never expected to see the pope in Durrow. So hopefully it will be a first,” Mr Bergin concluded.
Picture: The Conahy Vintage Club’s entry for this year’s Durrow Scarecrow Festival. (Pat Farrell/Durrow Scarecrow Festival).