Peace statue ‘symbol of hope’

Pictured at the unveiling of the new sculpture are, from left, Fionnuala Walsh, Arts Council NI, Mike Disley, artist, Joe Garvey, chairman of Richmount Rural Community Association, Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Darryn Causby, Letty Houston and Victor Hanthorn, Community Association committee members, and John Wilson, Community Association vice chairman. INPT40-202.
Pictured at the unveiling of the new sculpture are, from left, Fionnuala Walsh, Arts Council NI, Mike Disley, artist, Joe Garvey, chairman of Richmount Rural Community Association, Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Darryn Causby, Letty Houston and Victor Hanthorn, Community Association committee members, and John Wilson, Community Association vice chairman. INPT40-202.

A granite statue, which symbolises peace and welcome, was unveiled at a packed event in Scotch Street last week.

The sculpture was designed and carved by Yorkshire artist Michael Disley who attended the celebration at Richmount Centre with his daughter.

Also there were members of the local community including the Richmount Elders group, Scotch Street Youth Club and the children of Richmount Primary School, who helped design the statue, as well as local politicians.

The statue, ‘All Together Now’, is located in the garden of the Richmount Centre. It depicts an apple tree with children reaching up to it and words of welcome, in different languages, circling the base.

Mr Disley explained its significance to the local area. “The apple tree which is synonymous with this area can be made to shed its apples more readily if everyone shakes the tree together.

“The apples which fall exhibit a welcome to the residents and those from other lands. The children shake the tree as they are the ones who will form the future and peace needs to be part of that.”

Lord Mayor, Councillor Darryn Causby, congratulated Richmount Rural Community Association on its achievement and its work towards fostering good relations in the community.

He said, “This sculpture is now a landmark in Scotch Street and let us hope that both the local community and visitors will be inspired by the message of welcome and togetherness which will help achieve our goal of a lasting peace in this country.”

Among those who addressed the audience was May Benson, from Richmount Elders. She said, “We are proud to be associated with this project and hope that in some, even small way, it can encourage peace in our country and instil in our young people the noble quest for peace.”

Music was provided by children from Richmount PS and soloist Billy Grimason who led the audience in song.

Pupil Fiona Mayes of Richmount PS said pupils in P4-7 thoroughly enjoyed the workshops which entailed carving a design on a sandstone tile.

She said the sculpture showed “how we all need to pull together for the good of everyone in the community”.

Joe Garvey, chairman of the community association, paid tribute to those who engaged in the consultation process, and thanked the funders, the Arts Council.