Friday was a ‘momentous’ day for Ballysally, as a new mural was unveiled at the entrance to the well-known Coleraine estate.
The mural tracing the history of Ulster, replaces a paramilitary painting of a prisoner looking through bars. The painting has been part of the estate for many years.
The new mural has six different pictures depicting different times in our history, and as Adrian Eakin, project co-ordinator explained, the purpose of the re-imaging project was to ‘encourage the community to think about their culture and heritage.’
Two Ballysally groups were involved in the project - Building Ballysally Together and the Protestant Unionist Loyalist Forum. The project was funded by Coleraine Borough Council’s Good Relations scheme and the Housing Executive.
Speaking at the launch, Adrian spoke about the history behind the six different pictures, which were painted by local man Mark Roxborough.
“This is a momentous day for Ballysally,” said the well-known resident.
“Over the past five years many positive things have taken place in the estate, and it’s through projects like this that we want to encourage people to live here.
“The new mural provides the community with a snap shot of our history - through the mural we are encouraging the community to think about why they are here, and where they came from.”
The mural begins with the reformation and takes steps through history right up to World War II.
“We want people to think about their culture, and their heritage.
“The new mural is a massive improvement on what was there, and I hope everyone will be very pleased with it.”
DUP councillor George Duddy was also involved in the project, he paid tribute to the two groups involved and the Housing Executive and Coleraine Borough Council for their input: “This mural shows that the community can work together with other agencies for the good of the estate.
“Ballysally got bad press through a television programme, but this shows the sea-change that is taking place, this re-imaging is on going in the estate - it’s a change for the better for all of the people of the estate.”