Capall na nDeor of the Glen Community Center on Northland Road

The horse, called Capall na nDeor or the “Horse of Tears”, was made by the Men’s and Hen’s Shed at the Glen Community Centre, staffed by weaver Brendan Farren.

Maurice Bowe is the volunteer director of the Glen Community Center and runs the Men’s and Hens’ Sheds.

He said: “The idea was to depict the emigration trail from Donegal to the court of Derry, mainly through the Gorta Mór, or the famine period. We wanted to represent the people walking the trail and the journey they took.

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Horse and cart on display on the Northland Road created by the Glen Men and Hens Shed. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2216GS-187

“We linked the project to the Droichead na nDeor or the Bridge of Tears in Falcarragh. The name Capall na nDeor comes from this – the horse of tears. It depicts the emigration ordeal of people heading to the boats in the 1800s.

“The Northland Road was one of the main routes from Donegal to Foyle and as we are based in the Glen the location we have chosen is perfect.

“We were concerned about vandalism before we put it up, because it’s in a fairly open area, so we’re living in hope. It’s a beautiful piece and we had debated putting it in a private place but it would be a shame to hide it. It’s a community piece of art, so we had to take a chance and hope people will respect it and leave it alone.

“We’ve had Brendan for two hour sessions for the last eight weeks, so sixteen hours in total. It was a great project, there were days when there were maybe ten of us working on different sections.

Horse and cart on display on the Northland Road created by the Glen Men and Hens Shed. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2216GS-188

“Both Men’s and Hens’ Shed enjoyed doing this project so much that they got in touch with Brendan, the host, and discussed future projects. There’s some willow left over from this project, so they’re going to try making baskets and other projects too. It was just a great project in every way and everyone involved found it very therapeutic.

“In the Glen, we’re very progressive and always looking for new things to do. We also did a mural in Lowry’s Lane, between Glen Road and Creggan Burn Park. Lee Hegarty, one of our Men’s Shed members, painted a mural on the Gorta Mór which was unveiled on Saturday. Lowry’s Lane was one of Donegal’s tracks in recent years so this also connects to Capall na nDeor.

“I would just like to thank everyone involved in the project and congratulate the groups for their hard work. Thanks also to Derry City and Strabane District Council who funded the project.

About Paul Cox

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