Street Art Project Adds To Tralee’s Tidy Towns Efforts

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At the mural at Garvey’s Car Park on Thursday were, front from left; artist James Hayes, Hanna Pinckheard of Kerry County Council; Roisin Smullen of Tralee Tidy Towns and Martha Farrell of Tidy Towns. Back from left; artist Rebekah Wall; Tralee Tidy Towns Chairperson Brendan O’Brien; Tralee MD Manager Niamh O’Sullivan; former Chairperson of Tralee Tidy Towns Joe Moynihan; Tim Guiheen of Tralee Tidy Towns; Jean Foley, Tralee MD Officer and Colm Nagle of Kerry County Council. Photo by Dermot Crean

WITH the judging for the Tidy Towns underway, it’s hugely beneficial that one of the most ambitious projects Tralee Tidy Towns has ever undertaken is ready in time for the adjudicators.

The Creative Ireland-funded Street Art Project consists of three large murals and four utility box murals in locations around the town.

Roisín Smullen of Tralee Tidy Towns said: “We are very grateful to our Tralee MD partners who provided permission to site some murals on their property in strategic locations.”

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“We are also grateful to the Kerry County Council Arts office for its support and the project was, of course, only made possible by generous funding provided by Creative Ireland. It involved a significant project management effort from Tralee Tidy Towns and supported five local artists to provide beautiful and meaningful works of art within our town centre”.

Joe Moynihan who led the project for Tralee Tidy Towns said: “the project has been a great success and really improves the appearance of our streetscape in Tralee”.

Members of Tralee Tidy Towns and Kerry County Council gathered with artist James Hayes at his large-scale mural in Garvey’s Car Park on Thursday for a photo to officially mark the completion of the project.

The mural faces towards the old Denny factory site which is about to get a new lease of life through the Island of Geese Project to help boost the town the factory served for generations.

The mural features a woman who appears sleeping, framed by the Sliabh Mish mountains, with growth springing from rubble, between the past and the future, about to reawaken; the mural’s theme is rebirth and renewal.

Well known Tralee creative Rebekah Wall’s murals are an homage to the heritage of the Kerryman Lane, the original site of the newspaper.

The lane had been rejuvenated in a Tralee Tidy Towns and Tralee Chamber Alliance project in 2018. This mural project nods to the proud history of the lane when it was home to journalists and writers reporting on the happenings of the county.

A total of four utility boxes were brought to life as part of the project. Two utility box murals by award-winning Tralee artist Damien Slattery were dedicated to famous people who have connections with the town: Dusty Springfield (whose mother, Catherine Ryle was from Tralee) and Tom Waits (who is known to have stayed in Tralee on Milk Market Lane and wrote songs here including Rain Dogs.

Finally, the last two murals are located in the area of Rock Street. Tara Lynch’s ‘A Room With A View’ is located near the traffic lights on the junction of Maine St and Rock Street while artist Aisling O’Connor’s  ‘A Hunger to Belong’ is based on Princess Scotia who fled to Ireland seeking refuge.

The murals are sure to add to Tralee’s Tidy Towns entry while also adding vibrancy, colour and culture to the town.

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