Building peace on ‘Common Ground’

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At the end of June residents of Derriaghy came together to celebrate the unveiling of a new public artwork entitled, Common Ground.

The sculpture is the work of artists Maree Hensey and Mark Ryan and is the realisation of extensive community engagement through artist-led workshops.

Jim McLaughlin Chairman of Derriaghy Village Community Association explained: “Our association coordinated the project during which they worked across the community with artists to create an artwork of excellence, developing a sense of ownership and pride and most importantly helping to create a new shared symbol of peace-building and partnership for all. This programme started out with agreements across the community that paramilitary murals would be removed from the centre of the village. This agreement was reached through working alongside ex-combatants and the South Belfast UPRG. We would like to thank all the agencies, funders and the people of Milltown, Derriaghy who were involved in this project as without them this artwork and environmental improvements would not have happened.”

Artist Maree Hensey, commented: “Common Ground takes its form from the mill stone, representing the history of mills in the area in the early 19th century. Its design also reflects the themes of aspiration and optimism.”

In advance of the installation of the art Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council delivered an Environmental Improvement Scheme in the centre of the village of Milltown.

Councillor Margaret Tolerton, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council added: “The Council were pleased to be able to work with the community to improve the area and create somewhere for everyone to be proud of.”

We would commend all of the partners and the community group for their hard work in delivering all the elements of the scheme.”