Hope for Factory Girls sculpture

Sinn F�in's Maeve McLaughlin. (0806MM30)
Sinn F�in's Maeve McLaughlin. (0806MM30)

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said she is hopeful that an end is in sight to the long-running saga of the sculpture to honour Derry’s shirt industry.

Ms McLaughlin welcomed the news that a decision will be make known shortly on the application for the proposed Factory Girls sculpture. It’s currently with the DOE planners and going through a statutory consultation process.

“Finally there seems to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “It has been a very long protracted journey to get this sculpture erected.”

The Foyle MLA also said it is fitting that the women who worked in Derry’s shirt industry should be publicly honoured.

“I feel it’s very important that this project goes ahead.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.

“Women were the backbone of the economy in Derry at a time when there were no jobs for local men and there was great poverty in our city. We need to pay tribute to their contribution and to the life and history of Derry,” she said.

The public artwork was initially proposed for King Street roundabout in the Waterside and was designed for the site. However the plans were then changed to put the sculpture behind the Guildhall close to the Foyle Expressway.

The project has been hit by repeated problems with plann ing and design delays but campaigners are now hopeful that it can be built in the near future.