New Larne mural celebrates Irish festival dancing

The tradition of Irish festival dancing is being celebrated thanks to a colourful new mural in Larne town centre.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:00 pm
Irish dancing mural on Larne's Main Street.

Located on the gable wall of the Silver Lounge café on Main Street, the eye-catching piece was completed last week by artist Dean Kane from Visual Waste.

Featuring a young Irish festival dancer with a background of one of Larne's best known landmarks, the Chaine Memorial Tower, the piece is the latest artwork brought to the town thanks to the Larne Renovation Generation.

The community group was previously behind the jaunting car statue at the junction of Pound Street and The Roddens, as well as the town centre murals of Richard Hayward and Henry McNeill.

Angeline King from Larne Renovation Generation said: "[The mural] was something we had been talking about since 2018, which was the 90th anniversary of the first festival in Larne.

"We had requests from members of the public and then one of the dancing schools approached us to ask if we could do a mural of a dancer.

"We also had community consultations over the project, and a wide variety of people attended the meetings, which over the last year had to be held via Zoom.

"We had great support from some of the local councillors, with Cllr Andrew Clarke involved in the consultation and Cllr Gregg McKeen helping out with funding. We're also grateful to the owners of the Silver Lounge for allowing the mural to be painted on the gable wall."

The piece was inspired by a photograph of a dancer from the Lisa Dempsey School of Dance, an image which featured on the back cover of Angeline's 2018 book, Irish Dancing - The Festival Story.

"Having the Chaine Memorial in the mural is very meaningful for Irish dancing, as the festival used to take place down there at the McNeill Hall, where the leisure centre now is," Angeline added.

"I'm almost certain it's the only mural to promote the festival tradition of Irish dancing, as other Irish dancing murals are usually focused on the feis tradition.

"There's a cross community element to it, and it's also great that after the murals of Henry McNeill and Richard Hayward, this one features a woman!"