New mural marks ties with the community

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Stramore Road in Gilford was a kaleidoscope of colour on Thursday 24 March with the launch of a new intergenerational community art mural.

The new mural was created by artist Tim McCarthy along with members of Kindred Spirits over 50’s group and Gilford Youth Club.

The public artwork, which was made possible thanks to the Areas at Risk Programme funded by the Department of Social Development was unveiled by Catherine McInerney from DSD.

The mural which has transformed hoardings on Stramore Road depicts the history of Gilford and the importance young people have played in shaping the town’s past and also what they hope to bring for the future.

At the launch participants from Kindred Spirits and the youth club spoke about their involvement in the project and their sense of pride in the end result.

Artist Tim McCarthy thanked the local community for their support for the project including local historian Plunkett Campbell, Kindred Spirits, Gilford Youth Club and Gilford Community Forum.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causeby, has also voiced his praise for the project.

“This mural is a wonderful example of seeing people of all ages coming together and taking pride in their environment,” he said.

“Not only does it acknowledge the towns important and eventful past it will also act to inspire future generations to continue working together to develop and strengthen their community ties,” the Mayor concluded

The murals include portraits of local footballer Charlie Gallogly, who had a stellar career with Huddersfield Town, Watford and Northern Ireland.

Also featured on the mural is Hugh Dunbar who revolutionised the linen industry in the area.

Lead artist on the project Tim McCarthy from Re-Ink-Our-Nation said that “The overwhelming success of the project has been its intergenerational approach.

“We have been able to engage with a diverse range residents of Gilford and have created a real sense of ownership of the murals,” he explained.

Gilford and its community groups have also benefited from other aspects of the Areas at Risk Programme including the funding of a shop front scheme for empty commercial premises in the town and the purchase of equipment for the local parent and toddler group, youth club and the Kindred Spirits group.