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Remarkable family history artwork unveiled

Published: Thur, 21 Jul 2016
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Grand-nephew Gerry May unveils a stunning mural to his ancestors on the Ormeau Road.
Digital Main
New community artwork in South Belfast, revealing the fascinating story of a family at war, has been unveiled on the Lower Ormeau Road.
Depicting the remarkable life and times of the Corr family, the art installation tells the intricate tale of two sisters who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising, as their brothers fought in the trenches at The Somme.
With our support, the once hidden Corr Family story is being re-told with an impressive mural, unveiled exactly 100 years after the death of George Corr, who fought with the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion in France, after emigrating from Ireland.
His émigré brother Charles also fought with a Canadian battalion at The Somme, while his sisters Elizabeth, Nell and brother Henry took part in the Easter Rising in Dublin.
Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group representative Gerard Rice explained; “In the midst of our decade of centenaries, we have one family at the heart of the momentous events in arguably the most pivotal year of all – 1916.
“Through the prism of this one family, we see the complexity of our shared history.
“Henry Corr was recruited into the Irish Volunteers by a Protestant neighbour, Seamus Snoddy, while Rory Haskin, a former Orangeman and British Soldier taught the Corr sisters how to handle their weapons.
“George Corr lies in the military cemetery at Ru-De-Bois, while his brother Charles survived the horrors of the trench gas attacks.
“Just a few months before, Elizabeth Corr became one of the first people to see the newly printed Irish Proclamation at Liberty Hall in Dublin, as rebel leader James Connolly revealed a copy still wet with ink.
“It’s very poignant that this new artwork is unveiled exactly 100 years since George Corr’s death.
“I’d like to thank the Corr family members for being so gracious with their material and also their time – we’re delighted they were able to join us for the unveiling ceremony.”
Jennifer Hawthorne, our Head of Communities said:
“Few stories connected to our troubled and complex history are more riveting than that of the Corr family.
“As we move towards a shared future, it’s very important that tales like this receive attention, giving all of us the ability to examine significant, global events that impacted on our family lives, shaped Northern Ireland in the twentieth century and also led to the map of Europe being re-drawn.”
An exhibition on the life and times of the Corr family is at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, running from July 27 – August 28.