02 Oct 2022

New public garden with ‘Peace Tree’ sculpture as its centrepiece planned for Ebrington site in Derry

A new public garden featuring a ‘Peace Tree’ sculpture is to be created at the Ebrington site, the Derry News can reveal. The garden area will be located at space off St Columb’s Road which is currently used as a pedestrian access point to Ebrington Square, and will see the re-development of the area, which is currently used as a security barrier for traffic. In January of this year, The Executive Office, which took over responsibility for the 26-acre Ebrington site following the closure of the urban regeneration company Ilex, told the Derry News that it was ‘exploring a number of options’ for the location of the Peace Tree. A planning application for the new garden and Peace Three at Ebrington has now been lodged by The Executive Office with Derry City and Strabane District Council. It will comprise of landscaped area, the centre-piece of which will be a raised granite planter, which will hold the Peace Tree sculpture, created by the local artist Maurice Harron. The sculpture, known as the Peace Pledge Tree, was created as part of a project launched by the late deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness at Ebrington in June 2017. The initiative, ‘Amazing the Space’, was developed over three years by Dr. David Latimer from Derry First Presbyterian Church, which also involved a steering group of young people from over 400 schools across the north. The Executive Office provided £189,000 funding for the initiative, which is being led by Co-Operation Ireland. The ‘Peace Tree’, a 15ft high stainless-steel sculpture, designed and made by Derry born artist Maurice Harron, was first unveiled during an event at the former site of the Maze prison in September of 2016, where thousands of young people took part in the largest youth-led peace event ever held in Northern Ireland. The event saw pupils attach ‘peace pledges’ to tree, which incorporates over 400 large oak leaves each embossed with a message from the schools involved. The plans for the new garden will be discussed at a future meeting of the local council’s Planning Committee.

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