Square turf photo wins Skeff postcard competition

Winner Eamon Byrne pictured with Jessica Brennan of The Skeff.

Winner Eamon Byrne pictured with Jessica Brennan of The Skeff.

In its infancy Eyre Square was nothing more than an open stretch of grassy pasture known as The Green. Even then it was the central location for commercial and leisure activities and after 300 years of maintaining that pedigree of public attraction, it will

be appropriately commemorated by another gem in the Galway landmark hall of fame - The Skeffington Bar and Kitchen. To commemorate their mutual and astonishing life span, a postcard competition was launched at the beginning of the summer and was judged by the management of The Skeff.

The concept of the competition was to remind people of the commercial history associated with Eyre Square.

The volume of post and deliveries to The Skeff swelled over the summer months as a barrage of postcards, pictures, drawings, photographs, and paintings poured in. After all the sifting and analysing of the submissions was complete it was decided that Eamon Byrne’s entry was the winner.

His photo, which conveyed a poignant image of rural Ireland during the World War Two era - turf piles. Jessica Brennan of The Skeff suggested that it was the unusual and intriguing nature of Mr Byrne’s photo which earned him the winner’s title. “Six finalists were chosen and their entries were uploaded onto our Facebook page and after a public vote Eamon’s photo was chosen. He’s not a Facebook user himself so although he won the competition convincingly it was an entirely natural win. No self promotion was used on his part.”

She also noted that Eamon’s prize winning photo will be distributed on the face of a postcard and the proceeds it accumulates will be donated to Cancer Care West. “The quality in the entries we received was remarkable. They really responded to what I was asking for. People went out and drew paintings and just really put in a lot of personal effort, I think overall there were 80 recorded entries.”

The postcard will also contain a brief history on Eamon’s photo and what it symbolises. His photo dates back to World War Two in the aftermath of an emergency turf scheme undertaken in Moycullen by the Galway City Council to counteract the dramatic shortages in the city. This was coupled with a disastrous fuel crisis in the Regional Hospital making Eamon’s photo all the more relevant to the time. People from the eastern half of the country began relocating to Galway in droves to foot turf and were paid a wage of unprecedented amounts for it.

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