Cumann na mBan remembered in new mural

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A new mural dedicated to the Cumann na mBan will be unveiled in Gartan Square next Tuesday.

The mural was painted by one of the most skilled mural artists to emerge from the Troubles, Danny Devenny.

The mural was commissioned by Tar Abhaile, Derry Republican Ex-prisoner Centre.

The ex-prisoners group wanted to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Cumann na mBan, which was set up in Ireland in 1914.

The Cumann na mBan was an Irish women’s paramilitary organisation and when translated into English, it means The Irishwomen’s Council.

Interestingly, the UK Terrorism Act 2000 currently lists Cumann na mBan as a ‘Domestic Terrorist Group’.

Included in the mural is an image of Bogside woman, Ethel Lynch, who joined the Cumann na mBan in 1972.

Ms. Lynch went on to become a staff officer in the IRA but was killed while on active service in 1974.

“I had a picture of Ethel but it wasn’t great quality,” said Danny.

“However, one day when I was working at the mural in Gartan Square a woman who happened to be Ethel’s sister approached me and we got chatting.

“Ethel’s sister provided me with a better photo and I was able to make a few changes. A couple of days later another woman walked past the mural and told me she recognised Ethel from her image on the mural - the woman was another sister of Ethel - I was over the moon,” said Danny.

Talented artist Danny, who worked along with fellow artist Marty Lyons, to develop the mural, said it was one of the most enjoyable experiences he had taken part in.

“I’ve a lot of friends in Derry - I did a wee bit of time myself. I always liked coming to Derry because it’s a great place to chill out.

“The people of Derry are just typical Irish people in that they are so welcoming and friendly.

“I met and spoke to so many people while I worked on the mural.

“Paddy ‘Bogside’ Doherty lives near the mural. He was an idol of mine growing up but here I am on his doorstep working on a mural and he’s offering me tea and buns - it was an amazing experience,” said Danny.

The launch of the Gartan Square mural will take place next Tuesday at 7pm.