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A change of image for Shankill murals

The new murals, designed to chart the social, cultural and industrial heritage of the lower Shankill
The new murals, designed to chart the social, cultural and industrial heritage of the lower Shankill
Designers used traditional mural skills and digital production skills for new murals in Belfast. 2009.
Children from a local school painting a new mural in the lower Shankill area
Davy Larmour features in a tribute to local boxers
Scrubbed out: loyalist murals
Michael Ellis (10) practising his band stick skills in front of a new mural
A yellow ribbon calling on people to support a British troops homecoming parade seen in near a loyalist mural East Belfast, Northern Ireland, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. The Royal Irish Regiment, part of the British Army, is holding a homecoming parade Sunday after having served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands of people are expected to welcome them but a large protest by Irish Republicans opposed to British forces is planned, with security forces planning a large operation to police the area. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A mural at the top of the Whiterock Road
Republican mural
Political murals on the Lower Shankill Estate, Belfast, some of which have all ready been painted over, others with paramilitary symbols will be painted over in the next few days. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday September 1, 2008. Paramilitary murals glorifying loyalist terror groups are to disappear from west Belfast's Shankill Road. Belfast City Council will confirm this week an agreement has been reached with local community groups for ten of the murals in the Lower Shankill to be painted over. See PA Story ULSTER Murals. Photo credit should read: Stephen Wilson/PA Wire
Political murals on the Lower Shankill Estate, Belfast, some of which have already been painted over in a scheme to tone down Northern Ireland's warlike image. Other murals will be reworked in the next few days
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Ten paramilitary murals in the Shankill area of Belfast have been replaced with new images of culture and heritage as part of a community make-over.

The new murals, designed to chart the social, cultural and industrial heritage of the lower Shankill, were officially unveiled yesterday following a nine-month project.

Part of the Re-imaging Communities programme, designers used a combination of traditional mural skills and modern digital production techniques in putting the murals together.

Ian McLaughlin, from the Lower Shankill Community Association, said the project was a great success.

“Our community realised it was time to identify with the culture and heritage of our area and also take the opportunity to portray a number of individuals who have contributed greatly to the history and pride of our area,” he said.

Four artists — Lesley Cherry, Tim McCarthy, Ed Reynolds and Steven Tunley — have been working with a range of community groups since last September.

The Lower Shankill Community Association, its human rights group, residents and community workers, initially identified subjects for the new murals before bringing them to fruition.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Naomi Long praised the project.

“This is a prime example of what re-imaging is all about — taking us out of the divisions of the past into a new era of hope and enlightenment, reflecting the heritage of our diverse communities in a positive manner,” she said.

“Our vision is of a Belfast without barriers. The concept of renewal, of change, of respect for cultural identities lies at the heart of the Re-imaging Communities programme, which recognises the importance of creativity in all its manifestations and in all our lives.

“One of the most public representations of that ethos is within the realm of public art which enhances our environment and celebrates our identities.”

The initiative is being funded through the Arts Council, on behalf of the Shared Communities Consortium, which is helping to transform local communities across Northern Ireland by tackling the visible signs of sectarianism and racism and creating a more welcoming environment.

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