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New murals celebrate Creggan's Sports Stars

Published: Fri, 16 Sep 2016
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Creggan sporting hero footballer Tony O'Doherty, standing beside his new mural.
Creggan sporting hero footballer
A graffiti hotspot in the Creggan estate in Derry~Londonderry has been transformed into an inspirational artwork using murals of sporting heroes from the local area.
The new murals at the Creggan shops, Central Drive, include: Charlie Nash, a boxer who represented Ireland in the 1972 Olympic Games; Tony O’Doherty, a Northern Irish footballer and football manager; and Aileen Reid (née Morrison) a triathlete who represented Ireland at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.
A number of local groups, Creggan Youth Drop In, Triax Neighbourhood Management Team (TNMT) and the social enterprise UV Arts CIC, were involved with the project, which was supported by the Housing Executive.
Organiser, Kevin Campbell from TNMT, said:
“The people depicted on these walls are all from the Creggan estate and have all achieved sporting excellence in their chosen fields. This mural is a permanent reminder to the people of Creggan of the excellent athletes this estate has produced.
(l to r front) Charlie Nash & Tony O'Doherty with Eddie Breslin NIHE, Kevin Campbell TNMT & local manager Ken Breslin (back)
Creggan sports stars
"It’s also a celebration of Creggan and the people who live here.
“The Local Heroes mural has not only helped physically transform the area it also serves as a brilliant inspiration to local young people of what can be achieved through talent and hard work.
“For too long the Creggan shops have been a graffiti hotspot and this has had a very negative impact on the entire area.
"I am delighted to have been part of this project and would like to thank everyone involved for their support.”
Speaking about their role in the mural, Donal O’Doherty and Karl Porter, project artists at UV Arts CIC, said:
“We worked closely with local youth to select the local sporting heroes they wanted to see on the walls of their own community and via our engaging graffiti and street art lessons and workshops on site we were able to direct that raw energy of youth from a negative to a positive and creative outlet.
Anne Ball, wife of the late Liam Ball, an Olympic swimmer, and his sister Kathleen McGlinchey.
Sporting legends
“By encouraging the participation of local youth we can create ownership and encourage the development of positive and transferable skills via their creative learning process.
"Street art and graffiti has become internationally renowned for its ability to connect spaces and people from different backgrounds, to create a more neutral and shared environment for all.”
Our Good Relations Officer, Eddie Breslin, said:
“This project gave young people a fantastic opportunity to learn about the world class sporting merits of everyday people from the Creggan area.
"We are delighted to be involved with this initiative which is helping to create a more vibrant neigbourhood.”