Reimagining Leitrim

I have been told of a kind of precursor to the Guide from 1982 when a competition and exhibition of work submitted was held in Ballinamore library entitled and themed Reimagining Leitrim. It was aimed at school children and appears to have been a local schools project with a brief for a postcard sized image to attract tourists to the County Leitrim of their imagination. I was shown the winner (which is still framed in the new Ballinamore library) and took a photo of it and have here remade it as a postcard. I was told that probably a few hundred were made at the time and given away but they could no longer remember the name of the winner (it may have been a teenage boy).

I love this image as I know there is no sandy beach to walk on the real Leitrim coastline, perhaps the artist was only imagining what it was like there as well. It strikes me that the image of the burning car would also have been a common image from Northern Ireland on the late evening news at this time, just around bedtime for young children. I’m surprised it was picked as the winner of a competition for an image to attract tourists but this appears to be the case. It also reminds me of the work of the artist Sean Hillen whose Irelantis project also re-imagined Ireland. I’d love to find an original postcard and who did it but until then this reproduction will have to do. (Stephen Rennicks)

Location of Ballinamore library

A postcard and print of this image can be purchased at this link.