Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

It's a first as muralist portrays ex-Mayor Niall O Donnghaile

It is not the normal style of portrait you expect to find hanging in Belfast City Hall.

But now this striking profile of former Lord Mayor Niall O Donnghaile can be seen among the many more formal images of dignitaries from down the years.

Muralist Danny Devenny captures the ex-first citizen surrounded by images from his term in office.

There is a street sign from Short Strand in east Belfast where the Sinn Fein councillor grew up, a poster of the Titanic referring to the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking in April, and an image of Easter Rising leader James Connolly.

It is the first portrait of a former Lord Mayor by a muralist. Mr Devenny spent several months working on the image.

And Mr O Donnghaile is delighted with the result.

“I think Danny has captured perfectly an important year for me and this city,” he said.

“All of the items depicted in the portrait have a link to my year as mayor. Every time I will look at the portrait, the memories will come flooding back.”

Mr Devenny said he was honoured to be asked to paint it.

“I hope all who see it will agree that I have managed to capture a good likeness of the man, and to convey what was a really successful year for him and for Belfast,” he said.

Each year a portrait of the previous Lord Mayor is commissioned and displayed in City Hall.

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