Giant scarecrow version of Pope is star of festival

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois
A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

A giant scarecrow version of the Pope has won joint-first prize in a competition in an Irish town.

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

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

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

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

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

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."

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

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.

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois

A Pope and Pope Mobile made from hay which forms the centre piece of the Durrow Scarecrow festival in Durow, Co Laois