EIGHT Limerick students have won top prizes in this year’s 58th Texaco Children’s Art Competition. Twelve-year-old Holly Duce, a student of Bulgaden National School, Kilmallock won second prize in the C category, for her work entitled ‘Logging Road Ballyhoura Mountains’.
Holly was awarded a prize of €250. Other Limerick winners, all of whom won Special Merit Awards, were Siobhán O’Connor, 16 and Cathy Hogan, 16, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Doon; Sarah O’Leary, 13, Laurel Hill Secondary School, Ciara Sweeney, 11, Conal Purcell, 5, and Nathan Gonclaves, 5, all from Milford National School, Castleroy and Nicole Byrne, Catherine McAuley School, South Circular Road.
With an annual entry of up to 50,000 paintings, the Texaco Children’s Art Competition is one that has touched the lives of virtually every family in Ireland at some time or another throughout its 50 year lifetime. For children, it has a magical appeal - remembered by broadcaster Terry Prone as “the highlight of the year from the time I was seven”.
Persons who have officiated as guest of honour at this ceremony include former President and UN High Commissioner, Mary Robinson, former taoisaigh, and other distinguished persons. Prizes will be presented at a ceremony that takes place in Dublin in May at which all 161 top prize winners will be in attendance.
When interviewed by The Irish Times in 2004, the current Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD, a prize winner at the time of the Suez Crisis, said: “I won my first Caltex (Texaco) prize at the age of 10.
“Then I was doing it (art) without realising I was good at it. By the time I was a teenager it was central to my life. I painted constantly, right through until I was about 27 or 28.”