£46k artwork to replace Magherafelt’s Union flag

Pending approval from Mid Ulster District Council, Magherafelt will soon have new artwork
Pending approval from Mid Ulster District Council, Magherafelt will soon have new artwork

A new £46k artwork planned for the Magherafelt roundabout that once featured the town’s Union flag pole, has been passed by planners.

The orb-topped sculpture, named ‘our story’, was created by artist Maurice Harron who took his inspiration from 200 designs submitted by local school children.

Set near the three spires that have already been erected in the town centre, plans for the model will go before full council this Thursday.

If it passes that hurdle and gains “a favourable written response” from TransportNI, then the statuesque design will most certainly go ahead.

‘Our story’ features individual panels depicting aspects of life important to the community, from family and children to history, work, music and dance.

It will be laser-cut into marine quality steel and the large panels will be topped by a bronze sphere, representing the globe.

The council voted to remove the Union flag from Magherafelt in conjunction with the town’s regeneration scheme last year.

It had been installed by the Orange Order some 75 years earlier.

Angry at the decision to take it down the Orange Order finally broke its silence on the subject in October.

They said at the time: “This is felt as deeply offensive to our tradition and the ethos of one of the largest community organisations within the Mid Ulster Council area.”

It is understood that nationalist representatives had been calling for its removal for two decades, alongside the creation of a “shared space” in the town centre.

Read more in this week’s paper.