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Distinctive St Patrick mural unveiled in south Belfast

Artist Ross Wilson at the unveiling of a mural of St Patrick in the Village area of south Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

A DISTINCTIVE mural of St Patrick was unveiled in south Belfast yesterday.

The striking three-part artwork was commissioned as part of a project to replace loyalist murals.

The artwork in the predominantly loyalist Village area includes information about the life of Ireland's patron saint. It also explains the symbolism of the Red Hand of Ulster.

A third pop art-style panel shows interpretations of the young St Patrick as seen through the eyes of pupils at Donegall Road Primary School.

The artwork was created by Co Antrim artist Ross Wilson, who has made eye-catching sculptures including the C S Lewis centenary sculpture at Holywood Arches in east Belfast.

First Minister Arlene Foster unveiled the new mural.

"This work illustrates clearly how there is more that brings us together as a society than divides us and is an excellent example of how Northern Ireland can promote our shared history together," she said.

"Northern Ireland, as a whole, has unique and long-established links with St Patrick and the Christian heritage which stems from his life as a missionary here."

Greater Village Regeneration Trust and Action for Community Transformation (ACT) were behind the mural, supported by the Housing Executive.

Angela Johnston, of the Greater Village Regeneration Trust, said Protestant communities had not traditionally seen St Patrick as part of their culture or history.

"We worked alongside South Belfast ACT so that we could convey the message that St Patrick is for everyone," she said.

"We all feel that Irish history is also our history and we should be celebrating it every bit as much as our neighbouring nationalist communities."

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