A Trillick stonemason has spoken of his pride of being inducted to the Guild of Master Craftsmen.

Emmet McGirr from Trillick was inducted in a ceremony last month in Edinburgh. Emmet is one of two Master Craftsmen in Northern Ireland who specialise in stonemasonry who are part of the guild.

Speaking of the event, Emmet said: “It was great to meet fellow industry people, the master craftsman has been going since the 1800s and it was hosted in Edinburgh, we had to all go and get dressed up including the tartan for a champagne reception.”

Emmet detailed some of his journey into stonemasonry in conversation with The Impartial Reporter, including some family connections, he said: “Officially I started my business three years ago but i only picked up my first stone four years ago to build a wall at the house but my great uncle and grandfather were both stonemasons.”

The trade is often in demand, as Emmet explained: “It is so busy at the moment, stonemasons are a rare bunch to find and there would only be a small bunch in the trade, I am 41 and there is no one younger than me coming up through the trade”

“Emmet views the trade as an art form and something creative, he said: “To me it is an art form, I am creating something. I am lucky in I get and choose the projects that I really want to do.I love to work with old reclaimed stone, stone that someone had 100 years ago – and to think of all the history in it. We would do some renovation work for older buildings

He added: “Buildings are special and you often think, if walls could talk . Growing up I always loved going to castles, old cathedrals and old churches.

The work takes Emmet all across Northern Ireland but the busy dad-of-three often works closer to home. He said: “Me and my apprentice work as a team and at the minute we are in Newry and then we will head on to Ederney and Brookeborough We work all other the North but tend not to go too far.”

Emmet specialises in houses and other features of the home but is now hoping to work on a special project with other stonemasons with further details to be revealed later.

Emmet’s work can be viewed on Instagram by following @VintageStoneworks.