Public artwork to mark entrance to Drumahoe

Gerard Loughran, of Ballinliss Forge, pictured at the display of work created for the 'Down By The Faughanside' Project for Drumahoe Community Association with Lorraine Hetherington, Pamela Dunn, Betty Cross and Jean Brown. INLS1715-172KM
Gerard Loughran, of Ballinliss Forge, pictured at the display of work created for the 'Down By The Faughanside' Project for Drumahoe Community Association with Lorraine Hetherington, Pamela Dunn, Betty Cross and Jean Brown. INLS1715-172KM

It has been a long and winding road, but it looks like Drumahoe will soon take delivery of an imaginative piece of public art to mark the village boundary.

The installation in the not-too-distant future of the 10 feet long and four feet high metal sculpture, echoing the River Faughan, will bring to an end nearly five years of design and planning work.

Pictured at the display of work created for the'Down By The Faughanside' Re-imaging Project for the Drumahoe Community Association and funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland were, from left, Patricia Lavery, Compass North Glass, Gerard Loughran, Ballinliss Forge, Councillor Hilary McClintock and David Austin. INLS1715-170KM

Pictured at the display of work created for the'Down By The Faughanside' Re-imaging Project for the Drumahoe Community Association and funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland were, from left, Patricia Lavery, Compass North Glass, Gerard Loughran, Ballinliss Forge, Councillor Hilary McClintock and David Austin. INLS1715-170KM

On Friday evening residents from the area got to see and discuss the final plans for the artwork.

The budget for the sculpture was £47,000 and it is hoped it will be installed by June.

It had originally been planned to install it at the junction of Tirbracken Road and Drumahoe Road, on the main approach to the village, but those plans fell through.

DUP Alderman, Hilary McClintock, who has been intimately involved in the plans to erect public art in the village, said that after the initial plans fell through a decision was taken to move the artwork to a location within the village boundary.

Pictured at the display of work created for the ��Down By The Faughanside�" Re-imaging Project for the Drumahoe Community Association and funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland were, from left, Patricia Lavery, Compass North Glass, Gerard Loughran, Ballinliss Forge, and Phelim McCorriston. INLS1715-173KM

Pictured at the display of work created for the ��Down By The Faughanside�" Re-imaging Project for the Drumahoe Community Association and funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland were, from left, Patricia Lavery, Compass North Glass, Gerard Loughran, Ballinliss Forge, and Phelim McCorriston. INLS1715-173KM

“We decided to move the sculpture to the junction of Fincairn Road and Drumahoe Road, on the site of the former Scott Goligher Memorial Hall,” she said.

“The hall as demolished to make way for a road widening scheme but the land there was owned by developers who went into administration, just at the time when the land was going to be handed over to Derry City Council at no charge.”

But once again, fate was unkind.

“It took so long to sort out the lease that we had to look for another site and we ended up back almost where we originally started, out near the edge of the village,” she said.

“At the moment we have received the ‘Letter of Offer’ from the Arts Council and we undertook a massive community consultation with a facilitator, Pauline Matthews on hand through which themes were brought out under the project name ‘Down by the Faughanside.

“We then advertised for an artist and developed the themes and Ballinliss Forge was given the art brief, which resembles reeds along the river and a marine feel with fish moving through it.

“The issue remaining now is getting planning permission, which is being worked on, but we all feel it is important the art is on a site that is very visible to those coming into the village.”