Public to be consulted for their preference ahead of sculptural pathway

The public are to be asked for suggestions for a new sculpture, which is to be erected at the new Banbridge bus station.

The new monument will form part of a new sculptural pathway, which, it is hoped, will stretch from the FE McWilliam Gallery right through the town.

It is hoped that the scheme will make the town noted for its art, councillors were told at their monthly meeting last week.

A steering committee has also been set up to oversee the project.

Funding is being sought from the Arts Council as well as the private sector.

The first such sculpture, which will be part of the overall project at the bus station, will be located at the junction of Old Kenlis Street and the car park.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Marie Hamilton, who is part of the steering group, said that the sculpture will be made from the stones of the walls where the roses currently are on the site, which will make way for the bus station.

“It will be nice to see these sculptures erected,” she said.

“I grew up in the town and to some people those walls are almost sculptures in their own way.

“We have waited a long time for this station to come to Banbridge and I think it’s a good idea to make it as quaint as possible.”

UUP Councillor John Hanna believed that the new monument needed to be relevant to Banbridge’s history.

“We want it to reflect our past glories and our industrial and agricultural heritage,” he said.

It was suggested by Councillor David Herron that perhaps some of the district’s past sporting glories could be reflected in the sculptures.

“I would like to see something in honour of our famous motorcycle racers, and in particular the Dromara Destroyers,” he said.

“Ray McCullough, Trevor Steele, Brian Reid and Ian McGregor all brought great joy and honour to the district, and I think, even though they were known as being from Dromara, that we should mark their achievements in this way.”