Following a surge in the popularity of cow-dung art in mid-Ulster, the Department of Arts and Entertainment has given the go-ahead for a state of the art gallery beside the Garvaghey pitches to showcase the best of what Tyrone have to offer in this discipline.
Cow-dung art, also known as An Pictiur Shoite in Irish, dates back to the time of St Patrick when a group of poor women, in an area of what is now known as Cookstown, offered St Patrick some dung-art in appreciation for the great Masses he said when passing through.
In recent weeks, cow-dung art has experienced something of a resurgence in the county after a 62-year-old posted an Instagram picture he created of his wife in a bikini using only the fresh dung of his own cattle.
Gerry McGarrity, who boasts over 500 drawings he created using only local produce and his fingers, said the centre could draw millions of tourists to Tyrone in the same way as the Louvre in Paris:
“There’s a big market for cow-dung art across the globe. It is a form of 3D art as you can smell the pictures as well as look at them. In my opinion it’s £4.5m of tax-payers money well spent. Think of the chip van or potato stall potential outside the building too, bringing more money to the local community.”
Early brochures suggest that the picture of McGarrity’s wife in the bikini will be the ‘Mona Lisa’ flagship display for the cow-dung arts centre and will be called ‘McGarrity’s Wife In A Bikini’.