PC gone mad? Parade airbrushed from Dungannon photo

Now you see them, now you don't.
Now you see them, now you don't.

It has come to the Tyrone Times attention that two of the town’s most important social clubs have been airbrushed from a history commemoration.

A procession of Dungannon’s Boy Scouts led by the Irish National Foresters Silver Band has been digitally removed from a photograph of Ann Street which now forms part of a revamp of the busy thoroughfare.

The changed picture which is part of the Ann Street display

The changed picture which is part of the Ann Street display

The photographic display which commemorates the history of the street was erected as part of a re-imaging scheme to block off the dilapidated site formerly owned by Dunnes Stores.

A similar scheme has been rolled out in George Street in the town, while a series of virtual shop fronts was erected to transform derelict Perry Street.

However, the revamp, which is part of Dungannon Council’s attempts to reverse the decline in run-down areas and deal with eyesores, has sparked anger from some Ann Street residents.

Dungannon council, which set up a working group involving council officers and local community organisations to create the storyboard display, has defended its use of the faked photograph.

A spokesperson said there had been a vast amount of positive feedback about the re-imaging project through social media.

He accepted that the picture was not authentic, but that in the interests of neutrality the decision was taken to erase any marching bands from the display.

The picture, which is believed to date from the late 1950s or early 60s, originally showed spectators lining the pavement and cheering on the procession of several hundred boy scouts with the Foresters silver band in the foreground.

The version displayed in the re-imaging project now shows the spectators staring at an empty street.

The two nonpolitical organisations have contributed to the social and cultural life of the town for decades, with the Dungannon Branch of the INF, which calls itself a benefit society, currently celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding.

Many of the boy scouts were from Ann Street and the Donaghmore Road, while the INF had their Dungannon branch headquarters on the corner of Ann Street and the Donaghmore Road.

Residents from that part of the town have expressed concern that those erased from the picture and their families will feel insulted.

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