Confirmation of progress on the Factory Girls public art project in Derry has been welcomed.
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Maeve McLaughlin was speaking after the artist tasked with creating the work, Louise Walsh, expressed her own relief that the long-awaited project was finally moving after years of being tied up in red tape.
Ms Walsh was originally given the commission back in 2007 but ever since the project has been beset by problems, including the site and specifications being changed and funding issues.
Ms McLaughlin said however that it was welcome that things were now finally looking up.
“I have been in touch with the artist Louise Walsh and she has told me she has been working with landscape architecture engineer and environmental consultancy company, who are the Integrated Consultants Team (ICT) who were tendered for and appointed to work on the scheme of the Harbour Square, and supporting the integration of the sculpture.
“I am very hopeful that we are back on track to see this sculpture become a reality.
“It’s been a very long road to get to this stage and I think we need to thank all those who have been campaigning and lobbying for years to make this happen.”
She added: “The sculpture will be a fitting historical tribute to all those women in Derry who worked in the shirt factories in very harsh conditions and for little pay.”
Planning permission for Phase One of the public art project is expected to be applied for within weeks, and Ms. Walsh hopes to host an open day for the people of Derry in the Guildhall around Easter time to discuss the plans.