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Pupils give wall fresh look with a new coat of paint

PUPILS at a Newtownabbey Primary School have put the finishing touches to a bright new community mural that has replaced one of a loyalist gunman.

PUPILS at a Newtownabbey Primary School have put the finishing touches to a bright new community mural that has replaced one of a loyalist gunman.

Youngsters at Earlview Primary, on the New Mossley Estate, were invited to paint over the paramilitary image thanks to an initiative launched by a local community group.

Spokesman for the New Mossley Community Group, John Shaw, said he was approached by some local residents who were concerned at the mural which had been painted on a gable wall at Carntall View, close to the school's entrance.

Mr Shaw approached the artists responsible for the previous painting who "responded positively" to proposals to replace it with a more community-based mural.

"We then decided to approach the school and ask if the children would like to contribute to the new mural," explained Mr Shaw.

"They got started this week and are putting the finishing touches to it. It looks fantastic. It has been good news all round for everyone involved."

Plans to replace the paramilitary mural with one designed by schoolchildren came about following discussions between the community group, the school, Newtownabbey Borough Council and the Housing Executive.

Earlview principal Robert Gibney said his pupils were delighted to have been part of the scheme.

"What we had on the wall was a mural of a loyalist gunman and it has now been replaced with something that is community oriented and child-friendly."

The mural was the idea of artist Ruth Priestly. She worked with pupils at the school during her seven weeks there as an artist-in-residence. Fellow artist Jane Crymble visited the estate to transfer the mural idea onto the wall.


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