DUBLIN, Friday, May 8th – A Texaco Children's Art winning painting entitled 'Still Life' by Westmeath student Jesse Byrne, has been chosen to represent Ireland at the Milan Expo 2015, which is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors.

A digital image of Jesse's award winning painting is one of only two contributions from Ireland on display at the EU Pavilion in Milan.

Then nine years of age, Jesse – a pupil at St. Mary's CBS, Mullingar – won 1st prize in Category D of the 2009 Texaco Children's Art Competition for his still life painting depicting an appetising meal laid out on a table.

To mark the significance of this achievement, the Irish Pavilion in Milan will present a print of the work to EU Parliament Vice President, Mairead McGuinness MEP when she pays an official visit to the Expo today.

Upon hearing that his art had been chosen, Jesse, now 15 and preparing to sit his Junior Certificate exams at Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar, was 'delighted and almost in disbelief' that he was selected to represent his country at Milan Expo 15.

With participation from 145 countries and running until October 31st under the theme 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life', the Milan Expo 2015 is a Universal Exposition that aims to highlight one of the most pressing challenges of our time – how to feed and sustain an expected rise in the world's population to nine billion by 2050.

World Expos, which take place every five years and lasts up to six months, are discussion platforms aimed at finding solutions to universal challenges of our time – (Expo Shanghai 2010/ Expo Milan 2015).