Belfast Telegraph

Fallen soldiers remembered by new sculpture and garden

by Michael McCready

The fallen from both World Wars and other global conflicts are commemorated in a new garden of reflection and sculpture in east Belfast.

The £75,000 project, which was funded by the Arts Council led Re-imaging Communities Programme, was unveiled at a special ceremony attended by east Belfast MP Naomi Long at Kings Road, Tullycarnet on Saturday, June 5.

It has been developed by Charter NI, Tullycarnet Action Group Initiative Trust (TAGIT) in partnership with Groundwork Northern |Ireland.

Frankie Gallagher, from Charter NI and chairman of TAGIT, said: “We are moving to a new and better place in Northern Ireland and Tullycarnet is to the fore in that transition.

“Our community have a long way to go and some hard times still to face but this project is proof that we can do it.”

The residents of Tullycarnet have worked with artist Ross Wilson to create a new-shared space, which will rejuvenate the local area and make it a more welcoming environment for all.

Phase one of this innovative project commenced in 2008 with in-depth community consultations facilitated by Groundwork NI with members of the local community to discuss their needs and plans for the removal of two paramilitary murals, re-landscaping at the front of the shops in King Street and the addition of a new seating design for locals.

In 2009 the residents witnessed the creation of two new community murals, one highlighting the dangers of drugs to young people another on litter awareness.

The second phase of this re-imaging project has witnessed the landscaping of the garden of reflection with new artwork in the form of five granite stone columns designed by renowned east Belfast artist Ross Wilson.

The columns are dedicated to remembering the various individuals including local people from east Belfast who sacrificed their lives in the both World Wars and other global conflicts.

Also featured on the stone columns is a selection of war imagery of men and women who fought and died serving their countries overseas. East Belfast man Lieutenant-Colonel Blair Mayne who was a founder member of the Special Air Service (SAS) is also included in the sculpture.

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