New mural pays tribute to brave men of the Somme

Pictured (l-r) at the unveiling of the new artwork are Mark Downes (Ballyduff Redevelopment Group), Phil Hamilton (East Antrim ACT) and John Read (Housing Executive Good Relations Officer). INNT 34-511CON
Pictured (l-r) at the unveiling of the new artwork are Mark Downes (Ballyduff Redevelopment Group), Phil Hamilton (East Antrim ACT) and John Read (Housing Executive Good Relations Officer). INNT 34-511CON

Residents of the Queens Park estate in Glengormley have welcomed the completion of a new gable wall mural as part of a reimaging project.

The new artwork depicting soldiers at the Battle of the Somme, painted on the gable wall of a property at Queens Avenue, replaces a paramilitary mural.

The wording on the piece quotes King George V’s tribute to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Following in-depth consultation with the local community, the Friends of the Somme Society facilitated the reimaging of the mural in Queens Park “to commemorate those who fought at the Somme and celebrate our shared history.”

The Housing Executive’s Community Cohesion team was pleased to support the initiative and fund the investment in the local estate.

Phil Hamilton of East Antrim ACT (Action for Community Transformation) was pleased with the finished piece.

“This project saw Ballyduff Redevelopment Group, East Antrim ACT and Rathcoole Friends of the Somme Society come together with the local community to create a visibly more welcoming mural in the area,” he explained.

“It has been a terrific opportunity to explore our shared past and commemorate those who fought at the Somme. I’d like to thank the Housing Executive for their support of this initiative which we hope will create further opportunities within our community.”

According to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, residents in the estate are “delighted” with the new artwork.

The Housing Executive’s local Good Relations Officer, John Read, commented: “When we were approached about the proposed reimaging of the gable wall and met with the group we quickly realised the enthusiasm there was for the project. We were, therefore, delighted to be able to support them.

“The local community’s wholehearted backing and the resulting artwork has achieved the groups’ aims of creating an area that’s more visibly friendly and acceptable to the wider community.”