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Mural reimaged on Ballysally estate

Published: Tue, 25 Mar 2014
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Adrian Eakin, Treasurer of Building Ballysally Together with our Causeway Area manager, Mark Alexander at the new artwork
Ballysally mural re-imaging
The last of nine paramilitary murals to be reimaged on the Ballysally estate in Coleraine has been unveiled, marking another step on the journey from conflict to normalisation.
The mural on the gable wall at Daneshill Road has been transformed to depict a historical trail of the key events which shaped Protestant identity over the last two centuries.
Building Ballysally Together secured funding of over £4000 from our Community Cohesion team to commission a local artist to create a series of images to reflect the ethnic background of the majority of the population in Ballysally.
‘Footsteps Through History’ is the finished result and includes portraits of Martin Luther and John Knox, an image of the plantation plan of Coleraine, the Relief of Derry, William III landing at Carrickfergus, as well as representations of the Christmas Truce on the western front in 1914 and a representation of the Home Front.
Adrian Eakin, Treasurer of Building Ballysally Together, said: “Reimaging the murals has been an ongoing project on the estate for the past five years. It is part of a normalisation process and a move to make Ballysally more welcoming to those who visit, live and work here.
“With local consent reimaging was able to take place. Seven of the murals were removed and permission was secured to allow the community association to reimage two of them.
“After consultation with the PUL Forum and having thought long and hard about this mural and what it would depict, we decided that educating the community about their history was vital. The key to this project is educating local people about their identity, giving them the tools to start the discussion and research their own history.
“This is the last mural to be reimaged. As Ballysally is an area of high deprivation, we thought it was vital that the estate has a welcoming environment and one which will allow us to attract further investment.
“Some people do feel that removing the murals is a threat to their identity but it has been our experience in Ballysally that you can display your identity in a positive way.
“It’s not change for the sake of change. The response to the mural has been fantastic with local people praising the end result, expressing their pride in the mural and how they feel a sense of ownership,” he added.
Mr Eakin concluded by thanking our Cohesion Team, Cohesion Head, Jennifer Hawthorne and Area Manager Mark Alexander for their support.
“We have had an extremely positive experience working with the Housing Executive on this reimaging project,” he said.
Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of the Cohesion Unit, said: “We are involved in a number of reimaging projects. Partnership working is vital in enhancing community cohesion so we were delighted to be able to support this project, led by Building Ballysally Together.
“I would like to congratulate Adrian and the group for a fantastic high quality artwork which we are confident everyone in Ballysally will be very proud of,” she added.
Mark Alexander, our Area Manager for Causeway, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support this community led project in Ballysally. We continue to work with all communities across the Causeway area to ensure that the areas in which our tenants live are constantly improving.”
Thanks has also been paid to Coleraine Borough Council for its involvement in the project.