Athlone is to get its first community mural this summer on the underpass of the Garrycastle bridge along the Greenway.
Speaking about the project, local Fianna Fáil councillor Frankie Keena called the current state of the walls in question "deplorable". Cllr Keena said the wall is littered with all sorts of adhoc graffiti which gives out a distasteful impression of the Greenway.
Since the mural was approved by the Athlone Municipal District, Cllr Keena has formed a working committee which aims to deliver a universal design and implementation on the mural.
"The theme for the design is to promote tourism by showcasing what Athlone has to offer and to spread important environmental awareness messages," Cllr Keena said.
The community project is aided by the Garrycastle/Altown Residents Association under the stewardship of Mike Connor. Westmeath tourism officer, Una Doris, arts officer, Miriam Mulrennan, and Ruth Maxwell, environmental awareness officer, have also contributed to the project.
Professional artist Lucy Tormey from Mullingar was selected to take on this exciting task.
"It has been a great experience collaborating with representatives from the Garrycastle/Altown Residents Association and Westmeath County Council to achieve a design that meets everybody’s needs.The scale is somewhat daunting, but I am excited about the challenge it represents," Ms Tormey said.
The design of the mural has been funded by Westmeath County Council in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment under the Anti Litter and Anti Graffiti Awareness Grant Scheme.
Ruth Maxwell says the project will also help to raise awareness about graffiti.
"Graffiti has a serious cumulative effect because its initial appearance appears to attract more graffiti. It can quickly become an eyesore. That is why the mural is ideally placed not only as a deterrent but also as a work of art to be appreciated and enjoyed when on the Greenway," she said.
Arts officer Miriam Mulrennan says the mural works on so many levels;
"it is a snapshot of the location and environs what you are travelling within. It is directional but subtle. Artist Lucy Tormey has managed to take an otherwise tired wall space and evoke a real sense of pride of place," she commented.
A specific date of unveiling is yet to be announced but promises to be sometime this summer.