New mural has ‘enhanced’ Monkstown

At the unveiling are Hollybank Primary School pupils, Tiarea, Alicia, Faith and Jasmin, with acting principal Lynsey Brett and school governor Vivian Robinson, Mark Cooper from the Monkstown Community Association, artist Dee Craig and John Reid from the Housing Executive
At the unveiling are Hollybank Primary School pupils, Tiarea, Alicia, Faith and Jasmin, with acting principal Lynsey Brett and school governor Vivian Robinson, Mark Cooper from the Monkstown Community Association, artist Dee Craig and John Reid from the Housing Executive

Monkstown’s history is reflected in a striking new mural which has just been officially unveiled at Ards Park.

The Portrush Flyer steaming through the viaduct has been created with funding from the Housing Executive.

The new mural at Ards Park, Monkstown.

The new mural at Ards Park, Monkstown.

The housing authority’s Community Cohesion team has been working with Monkstown Community Association to remove unwelcoming images in the area and replace them with meaningful ones of which people can be proud.

Monkstown Historical Group worked with pupils from Hollybank Primary School, who enjoyed finding out about the history of the area.

The children had one-hour learning sessions on where they live and their heritage, and with the help of local artist Dee Craig, the mural of the steam train at the viaduct was produced.

The new artwork, according to project participants, has been well received within the community and people are pleased to see old images being replaced by local history to which everyone can relate.

Mark Cooper, vice chair of Monkstown Community Association, who was at the launch event, explained how the project is developing.

Mr Cooper said: “This is the start of small steps being taken within the Monkstown estate to create a more community friendly and positive area.

“A very important part of this project for us was to involve our young people, and this has worked really well.

“We would like to thank the Housing Executive’s Cohesion team for all their help and support throughout this process.”

Sharon Crooks, Housing Executive Area manager for Antrim and Newtownabbey who also attended the unveiling, welcomed the wider commmunity involvement.

She said: “This is a great project the local community has embraced, involving all the generations in the area. It has enhanced the neighbourhood and made Monkstown a more welcoming area.

“We’re pleased the whole community has played a part in creating a historical mural and we will continue to encourage and support local residents as much as possible.”