Texaco art winner goes from lowest to highest point

Frances Treanor fell and broke several bones weeks before Leaving Cert

On her last day at St Louis Secondary School in Co Monaghan last year, the winner of this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition, Frances Treanor (18), fell and broke several bones.

It was two weeks before the Leaving Cert and she ended up sitting the exams in a wheelchair, choosing to do them in handwriting despite her broken wrist.

“She was very determined, and she never complained. She has great fortitude and strength of spirit. She would have been at her lowest point last year, and now she’s at her highest point,” said her mother Ann Treanor.

Now a first year student at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she completed her winning drawing Self Portrait in just over two weeks using a ballpoint pen. Frances, who usually draws in pencil, decided to try something different this year. She said pen is more difficult because you cannot erase mistakes.


“She was rushing out to leave it in the Liffey Valley Centre at the last minute for hand collection. It was very, very last minute, but that’s the way Frances works. She works under pressure best,” her mother said.

Nicole Forster (13), a student at Wilson’s Hospital Secondary School in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, won the €350 first prize in category C (12 to 13-year-olds) for her pencil portrait of actor Elijah Wood.

“She’s worked very hard over the years. Instead of being on a computer, she’s sketching,” said her ’s father Edward Forster.

Stephen Walsh (9), a student at Ratoath Senior National School in Ratoath, Co Meath, won first prize in category D (9 to 11-year-olds) for his painting Hydrangeas.

“I decided to do it because they’re very common flowers in Ireland. And they’re unusual because they come in different colours in different places. Like in Wexford they’re blue and pink and in Meath they’re pink, and they change depending on the soil,” said Stephen, who won special merit awards at the competition in 2013 and 2014.