Mayo student is chosen overall 2014 Competition winner and a top prize recipient for
the fifth time
A 16-years old Mayo student, Shania McDonagh from Claremorris, has been chosen as the
overall top prize winner of this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition. Her achievement
in winning first prize in the senior age category, for students aged 16-18 years, brings with it
the additional distinction of being the sixtieth young artist to share the honour in what is the
60th year of the Competition.
A first prize winner in her various younger age categories on four occasions previously (2010,
2011, 2012 & 2013), Shania is known for her painstakingly detailed portraits. Her prizewinning entry this year, a pencil study entitled ‘Coleman’, follows the style that has made her
work so successful. A close-up facial study in pencil, it portrays her subject in such life-like
detail that one can see every facial detail with absolute clarity.
A student at Mount St. Michael Secondary School, Claremorris, Shania’s success has seen her
become one of the most successful artists in the 60 years history of the Texaco Children’s Art
Competition. Describing Shania as ‘a young artist of exceptional skill and ability among the
many talented artists in the Competition,’ the chairman of the judging panel Professor Declan
McGonagle said ‘her work has established her as one of the most talented artists of her
generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists
of the future’.
In winning the coveted first prize, Shania fought off competition from thousands of young
students from across Ireland who took part in the Competition. She will be presented with her
€1,500 first-prize at the prize giving ceremony in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham next month
when all of the 126 winners will be in attendance.
Also in Category A, second prize (€1,000) was won by Cáitríona McClay (age 16), a student
at Loreto Community School, Milford, Co. Donegal for her work entitled ‘Pulp Fiction’ while
third prize (€750) was won by Grace Murray (age 17) from Ursuline College, Sligo for her
entry entitled ‘Red Pepper’. Grace was a Special Merit Award winner in 2009.
In Category B (14-15 years), the €450 first prize was won by Offaly student Diarmuid
McKenna (age 14), a pupil at Killina Presentation Secondary School, Tullamore for his selfportrait appropriately entitled ‘Me’. This year, two joint second prizes (€350 each) are being
presented – one to Muirine Robinson (age 15) from Our Lady’s School, Terenure, Dublin for
her painting entitled ‘Granny At Night’ and the other to Grace Dolan (age 14) from Holy
Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin for her Louis le Brocquy-esque work entitled
‘Sheep’. Grace was a Special Merit Award winner in 2011 and a first place winner in the
12-13 years age category in 2013. Third prize (€250) went to Hannah Witherspoon (age 15)
from Wellington College, Belfast for her study entitled ‘Hands’.
In Category C (12-13 years), first prize of €350 went to Jem Fitzpatrick (age 12) from
Rathgar for his work entitled ‘Cold Hare’. Second prize (€250) was won by 13-year old
student Jodie Ryan from St. Colmcille’s Community School, Knocklyon for a sepia coloured
work entitled ‘The Farmhouse’, while third prize (€200) went to Síobhra O’Reardon Farrell
(age 12) from Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, Dublin for her pencil sketch of singer-songwriter
Damon Albarn.
In Category D (9-11 years), first prize (€250 Art & Hobby gift voucher) was won by 9-year
old Orla Rooney, a student at Coldwood National School, Craughwell, Co. Galway for her
colourful work entitled ‘Hello Mr Toucan Bird’. Second prize (€200 Art & Hobby gift
voucher) was won by Abby Kehoe (age 10) from Ballinabrana National School, Co. Carlow
for her delightful sketch entitled ‘My Brother Ben’, while third prize (€150 Art & Hobby gift
voucher) went to Maia McCann (age 10) from The Art Academy, Rush for a study entitled
‘White Dove’. Maia was a Special Merit Award winner in 2012.
In Category E (7-8 years), the first prize of a €200 Art & Hobby gift voucher was won by
8-year old Ava Henson from The Harold School, Glasthule for a colourful piece entitled
‘Winter Fox’. Second prize (€150 Art & Hobby gift voucher) was won by Bailey Jones
(age 7) from The Art Academy, Rush whose creative study of three owls is entitled
‘Feathered Friends’, while third prize (€125 Art & Hobby gift voucher) went to Roscommon
student Leah Rogers (age 7) from Carrick National School, Ballinlough for her untitled
colourful geometrically-patterned work.
In Category F (6 years and younger), the youngest age group in the Competition, first prize
winner of a €150 Art & Hobby gift voucher was 6-year old Amy Doran from Windy Arbour,
Dundrum for her imaginative artwork entitled ‘Muckross Park, Rowing Boats’. Second prize
(€125 Art & Hobby gift voucher) was won by Julianne Coleman (age 6) from Robswall,
Malahide for her work entitled ‘Juicy Banana’, while third prize (€100 Art & Hobby gift
voucher) was won by Caitlin Rea (age 6) from St. Mary’s National School, Bagenalstown,
Co. Carlow for a study entitled ‘Snow Leopard’.
In Category G, reserved for entries from children with special needs, first prize of a €400 Art
& Hobby gift voucher was won by 15-year old Ryan Hazley, a student at Beechlawn School,
Hillsborough, Co. Down for his study entitled ‘Landscape of Hillsborough’. Second prize
(€300 Art & Hobby gift voucher) went to Ciaran McCarthy (age 13) of Our Lady of Good
Counsel School, Ballincollig, Co. Cork for his untitled work, while third prize (€200 Art &
Hobby gift voucher) went to Marrissa Carolan (age 13) from St. Joseph’s Special School,
Tallaght for her colourful interpretation of a dog entitled ‘Princess’.
Final judging was carried out by the Chairman of the judging panel, Professor Declan
McGonagle, Director of the National College of Art & Design, assisted by preliminary judges
Dr. Denise Ferran (Artist & Art Historian), Eoin Butler (Artist & Lecturer in Visual Arts),
Seán Kissane (Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA), Aoife Ruane (Director, Highlanes Municipal
Art Gallery, Drogheda) and Colleen Watters (Head of Learning & Partnership, Ulster
Museum, Belfast).
Announcing the awards at a reception held in the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane at
Parnell Square, Dublin today (Tuesday, 15th April 2014), James Twohig, Director Ireland
Operations of Valero, who market fuels in Ireland under the Texaco brand, paid tribute to the
winners, praising their skill and enthusiasm. He also thanked the many teachers from schools
throughout Ireland who have given their support to the competition throughout its 60 years
This year, the top 21 winning works will remain on exhibition in the Education Gallery at the
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane until Monday, 2nd June next. The Gallery is open
Tuesday to Sunday each week and admission is free.
The Texaco Children’s Art Competition is the longest running sponsorship in the history of
arts sponsoring in Ireland - and popularly regarded as Ireland’s longest-running sponsorship
of any kind. It has an unbroken history that dates back to the very first Competition held in
1955. This year, as has been the case throughout its life, it has been a platform on which
young artists have had their talents recognised and a springboard on which many have risen to
national prominence. Aside from giving students the space to give expression to their talent
and skill, the Competition has focused a spotlight on the quality of art teaching in Irish
schools and the importance that the educational establishment attaches to the subject of art
Past winners whose early interest in art and the arts may well have been encouraged by their
participation in the Competition include artists Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh, Bernadette
Madden, Dorothy Cross, fashion designer Paul Costello and former broadcaster and artist
Thelma Mansfield. Other notable past winners include Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn
TD (a four-times winner), PR guru and columnist Terry Prone, ICTU General Secretary
David Begg, actress Jean Anne Crowley, musician Ethna Tinney, Trinity College Professor of
Contemporary Irish History, Eunan O’Halpin and the late novelist Clare Boylan.
-ENDSNotes to editors
Valero Energy (Ireland) Limited, a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, markets fuel in Ireland
under the Texaco brand. There are over 170 Texaco-branded service stations in Ireland and around 800 in the UK.
Valero Energy (Ireland) Limited also provides aviation refueling services at Dublin and Shannon Airports, has an
extensive commercial and industrial fuels business and holds an equity stake in one fuel storage facility in the
Republic of Ireland. For more information, visit www.texaco.ie
Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of
transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 10,500
people, and assets include 16 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million
barrels per day, 10 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons per year, a 50megawatt wind farm, and renewable diesel production from a joint venture. Through subsidiaries, Valero owns the
general partner of Valero Energy Partners LP (NYSE: VLP), a midstream master limited partnership. More than
7,300 outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the
Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company
based in San Antonio, Texas. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.
The Texaco Children’s Art Competition, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, is the longest
running sponsorship in the history of arts sponsoring in Ireland. For further information about the Competition,
contact Don Hall (mobile 087-2552699), Ashley Hall (mobile 086-3127774) or Maximilien McKenna (mobile 0867848464) at Hall PR on 01-660 9377 (office) or email [email protected] For more information on Valero Energy
(Ireland) Limited, contact Bronagh Carron on +353 1 6136108 or email [email protected]