Glen Community Centre’s Capall na nDeor on the Northland Road

A new woven wicker horse and cart has been unveiled on the Northland Road.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:22 pm

The horse, called Capall na nDeor or the ‘Horse of Tears’ was made by the Glen Community Centre’s Men’s and Hen’s Shed, facilitated by weaver Brendan Farren.

Maurice Bowe is the voluntary director of the Glen Community Centre and leads the Men’s and Hens’ Sheds.

He said: “The idea was to represent the emigration trail from Donegal through Derry court, mainly though the Gorta Mór, or the famine period. We wanted to represent people walking the trail and the journey they took.

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Horse and cart on display on the Northland Road created by the Glen men’s and hens shed. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2216GS – 187

“We tied the project to the Droichead na nDeor or the Bridge of Tears in Falcarragh. The name Capall na nDeor came from that - the horse of tears. It’s representing the emigration trial of people heading for the boats in the 1800s.

“The Northland Road was one of the main routes from Donegal into the Foyle and, because we’re based in the Glen, the spot that we chose is perfect.

“We were concerned about vandalism before we put it up, as it’s in a pretty open area, so we’re living in hope. It’s a lovely piece and we had debated about putting it somewhere private but it would be a shame to hide this away. It is a piece of community art so we had to take the chance and hopefully people will respect it and leave it alone.

“We had Brendan for two hour sessions over the past eight weeks, so sixteen hours in total. It was a great project, there were days were there might have been ten of us working on different sections.

Horse and cart on display on the Northland Road created by the Glen men’s and hens shed. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2216GS – 188

“The Men’s and Hens’ Shed groups loved doing this project so much that they have made contact with Brendan, the facilitator, and have talked about future projects. There’s some willow left over from this project so they are going to try making some baskets and other projects too. It was just an all round great project and everyone involved found it very therapeutic.

“In the Glen, we’re very progressive and we’re always looking at new things to do. We’ve also done a mural in Lowry’s Lane, between the Glen Road and the Creggan Burn Park. Lee Hegarty, one of our Men’s Shed members, has done a mural on the Gorta Mór which was unveiled on Saturday. Lowry’s Lane was one of the tracks from Donegal in years past, so that connects to Capall na nDeor too.

“I’d just like to thank everyone who took part in the project and congratulate the groups on their hard work. Thanks too to Derry City and Strabane District Council who funded the project.”