McCausland supports ‘Factory Girls’ statue

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Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland supports the plan to have the Factory Girls sculpture as the centre piece of a public realm scheme in front of the Guildhall, in Harbour Square.

Funding of almost £40,000 has been made available to Derry City Council and the artist, Louise Walsh, to work on the redesign of the sculpture.

Minister McCausland said his department remains committed to erecting a piece of public art to commemorate the key role that the female workers in Derry’s shirt factories played in the social and economic history of the city.

“This funding will enable the council and the artist to progress the much anticipated Factory Girls sculpture to the next design stage. Although there have been delays to the project, I am confident we are moving closer to having a permanent commemoration to the factory girls, said the Minister.”

Town Clerk and Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor, welcoming funding to progress with first phase design and costing of the Factory Girl’s sculpture in Harbour Square, said: “The proposed public artwork will become an iconic city symbol, formally acknowledging the important role played by women who worked in the factory industry.

“The artwork will enhance the Harbour Square public realm scheme and create a welcoming public space in front of the Guildhall. I am confident that this iconic piece of public art, once completed, will preserve the importance of the factory girl’s role for future generations and become a symbol of our shared history and regeneration.”

Artist, Louise Walsh said: “The public sculpture celebrates the contribution of the city’s female shirt factory workers, their expertise and our collective industrial heritage and labour history. I hope the artwork can create a space that can be used and enjoyed by people. I look forward to working on the re-design process and with a team of experts to integrate the sculpture into the redevelopment of the Harbour Square site.”