Derry City and Strabane District Council have unveiled a mural to former Derry City player Mark Farren at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The mural, which was painted by local company Peaball Creatives, was unveiled to Mark’s parents Michael and Kathleen, and his aunt Brigid. Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Brian Tierney was in attendance, alongside Derry City FC Chairman Philip O’Doherty and Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins.
The mural has been placed on the tunnel of the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium in the stand which has also been named after Mark, who played for Derry City from 2003 to 2012 and made 209 appearances for the Candystripes.
A Positive Legacy
Mark tragically passed away in 2016 aged 33 after a brave battle with cancer, and Mayor Brian Tierney said Council were happy to pay tribute to someone who had such a positive legacy in the city.
“I am truly honoured both as Mayor of this city and district and as a lifelong Derry City fan to attend the official unveiling of the mural of Mark which now forms part of the Mark Farren Stand.
“We know that Mark’s story and his legacy will be spoken about for many years to come, and we hope that this mural will be a fitting tribute to the role that he played in the football history of Derry and celebrate the joy that he gave to so many football fans here in the city.
“Mark’s family continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of us all.”
Philip O’Doherty, Derry City FC Chairman, added: “Mark will always be a huge part of the history of Derry City Football Club, and we are happy to join Council in celebrating his life.
“Mark was more than just a player here. He has left a real legacy at the club and it is fitting that his image will greet the players every time they take the field.
“We are delighted that Council have also kept Mark’s memory alive both with the stand named after him, and this fantastic mural.”
Delight as Donemana Village Renewal Project Completed
Work has now been completed on the Donemana Village Renewal Project which included a new and improved outdoor space in the village.
The work carried out has seen the installation of an outdoor garden with seating, raised beds, and planting as well as a small kickabout area with artificial grass and a goal wall including a basketball hoop. It also includes new steps to improve access to the outside area.
It was the fourth and final of a series of Small Parks Village Renewal Projects carried out by Derry City and Strabane District Council, with other projects completed in Artigarvan, Ardstraw and Drumahoe.
In Artigarvan and Ardstraw there were upgrades to play areas, with new equipment for each including a wheelchair accessible ground flush roundabout, basket swing and zip line, as well as landscaping improvements, while, in Drumahoe, an improved access pathway, adult exercise equipment, landscaping and signage was installed.
The combined cost of the four projects was £200,000 and they were delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, who is also the Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), said the completion of the project is fantastic news for Donemana and for the Drummond Centre Project after some challenging years.
“I’m absolutely delighted to visit Donemana and to see this work first-hand which provides a great space for the Drummond Centre Project and the Donemana community to enjoy.
“The green space ties in with our Council commitment within the Green Infrastructure Plan, and the recreational facilities are a space for young people to get some exercise in while socialising with friends.
“Facilities like this are so important for our rural communities and following the flooding of the original Drummond Centre Project’s premises in 2017 this is certainly a massive and well-deserved step forward for them.
“As Mayor and as Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership it is my pleasure to attend the official opening of these new facilities and I want to wish the Drummond Centre Project and everyone in Donemana well as they enjoy this wonderful space.”
David Buchanan, The Drummond Centre, added: “This is a great day for everyone here in Donemana and for ourselves at The Drummond Centre Project.
“We have experienced a lot of ups and downs over the past few years so to have this facility now complete is a very positive achievement. It’s a space that we know will be so deeply appreciated and well-used by our young people and by everyone within the village.”
Advice and Support Available as Part of Alcohol Awareness Week
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has said being aware of recommended limits and the effects of alcohol, and education around the potential dangers of alcohol, is extremely important.
The message comes as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th June. It is supported by the Public Health Agency and the five Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams and centres around encouraging people to take a closer look at their drinking habits by counting their units to see if they’re staying within the recommended weekly limits.
Mayor Warke said that taking some time to evaluate personal alcohol consumption is recommended.
“Many people like to enjoy alcohol in moderation, but sometimes it can be very easy to find yourself consuming more than is recommended without even realising.
“This can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, so it’s hugely important that everyone consuming alcohol is aware of the legal age, the recommended limits and is checking in on how that measures up with their own habits.
“The stresses and challenges of the past 16 months, and how much we have all been staying at home, may have led to some people drinking more alcohol than they typically would have before, so Alcohol Awareness Week this year is a particularly good opportunity to pick up a few helpful tips on how you can make small changes that will have a big difference in ensuring you can enjoy alcohol safely and in moderation.”