IRSP save King Billy

Nigel Gardiner. INLS 0611-501MT.

Nigel Gardiner. INLS 0611-501MT.

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Cooperation between the IRSP and a loyalist ex-prisoners support group resulted in a painting of King William of Orange which had been destined for a bonfire being returned to the Fountain estate.

The loyalist mural, which was painted on a wooden hoarding and attached to a wall in the Fountain was taken down last week as part of a reimaging project. It was then stolen from the area, however, and young people who built a bonfire close to the Foyle Road had planned to burn it.

But thanks to a cross community network involving representatives from Teach na Fáilte, a republican ex-prisoners group linked to the IRSP, and Epic North Ulster, a support group for former loyalist prisoners, the mural was rescued and returned to the Fountain.

Nigel Gardiner from Epic North Ulster said the return of the mural reduced community tensions and thanked the IRSP for their assistance.

“I would like to thank Martin McMonagle from the IRSP and the rest of the team at Teach na Fáilte for getting this mural returned to the Fountain estate. They linked up with ourselves and representatives in the Fountain to return the mural, which had been destined for a bonfire. This greatly reduced community tensions in the area,” he said.

The IRSP handed the mural over to Fountain representative at the bottom of Wapping Lane at 10pm on Wednesday.