Three little pigs from Mayo have been let loose on the streets of Dublin.
And the porky paraders are getting plenty of attention in the capital.
That is because they are of the brightly painted fibreglass variety and were created by three Mayo artists as part of a novel fundraising campaign called Pigs on Parade.
The campaign, which launched on Monday to raise funds for the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, has seen 100 stylish pigs go ‘on parade’ for the next five weeks at landmark and historic locations around Dublin.
Organisers of Pigs on Parade are encouraging people to go on a fun ‘pig hunt’ to track down as many of the pigs as they can and the pigs will also be auctioned off online throughout the campaign to raise much-needed funds for Jack & Jill.
The Mayo pigs were designed by Michelle Courtney from Newport; Roswith Groepler from Killala; and Daire Lynch, originally from Dublin but now living in Cong.
Ms Courtney, whose pig is called ‘The Bard of Burrishoole’ and was inspired by childhood nursery rhymes, said taking part in the project was a thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish.
“It was fantastic to do, really inspiring and for a great cause at the end of it all,” said Ms Courtney.
Ms Courtney, a printmaker, travelled to Dublin on Monday for the official launch of Pigs on Parade in the Botanic Gardens with Brendan O’Connor.
“There were families there from the Jack & Jill Foundation and it was a perfect morning, with lots of smiles and laughter,” she added.
“I went around the city afterwards and did the pig hunt myself. I eventually found my own pig inside the foyer of a prominent city centre hotel and it was a bit surreal. I walked in and realised ‘that’s my pig!’. She was affectionately known as Charlotte when she was here and she was quite prominent on our kitchen table alot of the time so it was great to see her in situ, on her plinth with her plaque and people looking at her and talking about her.”
The pigs are now available to be sponsored or purchased from www.pigsonparde.ie and the charity is inviting people to find the pigs, which are individually coded, and to enter a fun competition.
The hand crafted pigs are designed to become highly collectable and valuable works of art.