County Tyrone pupil wins all-Ireland art prize

Molly-Rose McMackin is joined by her classmates and very important guests at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School in Beragh as they were treated to a special visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy after being crowned the winner of the nationwide 'Putt Yourself In The Picture' competition. Pics: Pacemaker. Submitted.
Molly-Rose McMackin is joined by her classmates and very important guests at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School in Beragh as they were treated to a special visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy after being crowned the winner of the nationwide 'Putt Yourself In The Picture' competition. Pics: Pacemaker. Submitted.

A County Tyrone primary pupil is celebrating being crowned the winner of the nationwide ‘Putt Yourself in the Picture’ competition.

The children of St Oliver Plunkett’s Primary in Beragh were treated to a special visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy – thanks to P7 pupil Molly-Rose McMackin who won the unique opportunity after coming first in an all-Ireland art competition.

Molly-Rose McMackin (pictured) is crowned the winner of the nationwide 'Putt Yourself In The Picture' competition that was organised by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

Molly-Rose McMackin (pictured) is crowned the winner of the nationwide 'Putt Yourself In The Picture' competition that was organised by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

As part of the prize, the pupils enjoyed a Q&A session with Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Championship Director, Simon Alliss, professional golfer and Dubai Duty Free golf and tournament ambassador, Des Smyth, and Brian McIlroy, Chairman of the Rory Foundation and uncle of tournament host Rory McIlroy.

Eleven-year-old Molly-Rose and her family were also given the opportunity to take a VIP tour at the tournament’s Pro Am, ahead of the main event at Ballyliffin Golf Club.

‘Putt Yourself in the Picture’ was a nationwide competition aimed at schoolchildren of all ages who were asked to submit a golf-themed drawing or painting of anything that inspires them. More than 300 entries were submitted from children all over Ireland.

Molly-Rose, who has High Functioning Autism, was inspired by her favourite golf course, Royal Portrush, and spent many hours refining her picture. The talented artist even incorporated the Burj al Arab as a nod to title sponsors Dubai Duty Free.

Molly-Rose’s winning picture will now be signed by Dubai Duty Free Irish Open host Rory McIlroy and defending champion Jon Rahm, then put on display at the tournament for players and spectators to see. Also, the signed picture will be auctioned to raise money for St Oliver Plunket’s PS. Molly-Rose will also receive a signed copy to keep and treasure.

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice President and CEO of Dubai Duty Free said: “We were delighted to see the success of this year’s competition and the standard of drawings was very impressive. Congratulations to Molly-Rose on her wonderful winning drawing.”

Simon Alliss said: “We are so happy we ran this competition and met the highly talented Molly-Rose whose drawing was simply outstanding. The effort she put into her picture was phenomenal.”

Bronagh Maguire, Principal of St Oliver Plunkett PS, said: “We are delighted that one of our Year Seven pupils Molly-Rose McMackin has won such a prestigious prize for our school. We are extremely proud of Molly-Rose and knew she would excel in this task. The money that will be raised at auction will provide a welcome boost and enable our pupils to avail of hopefully two things which will improve learning and teaching within our school.”