Urban art horse project launched in Limerick park

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Darragh Hardy, trainee with PALLS, with his six-month-old daughter Layla Hardy in Peoples Park, on Friday. Picture: Adrian Butler
THERE was a colourful celebration when the men of the Probation and Linkage in Limerick Scheme (PALLS) launched an innovative work of art in People’s Park in the city last Friday.

THERE was a colourful celebration when the men of the Probation and Linkage in Limerick Scheme (PALLS) launched an innovative work of art in People’s Park in the city last Friday.

Since March 2015, clients of the probation service have been working on the PALLS Horse Project, painting and designing a horse that covers themes relating to their lives.

PALLS, which is based in the Docklands Business Park in the city, works with men aged 23 and older who are clients of the probation service, and aims to improve their quality of lives through education.

The project, in association with Limerick Corridor Art Project, was assisted through “expert guidance” by Angela Connolly and Limerick School of Art and Design students, Ashling McGrory and Tara Keegan.

Newly elected Mayor of Limerick city and county, Cllr Liam Galvin commended the multi-coloured piece of art, and said that initiatives like PALLS need to be “supported locally at council level, and particularly at national level”.

“I want to look after the communities, the less well-off, the disadvantaged and the elderly. I see some have turned their lives around. They are here participating and creating wonderful, wonderful pieces of art.”

Also part of the project, PALLS trainee Darragh Hardy wrote a poem, entitled Poetic Justice, which talks about life and its “silver lining and happy times”.

“It all came from a small bit of rapping and it comes natural eventually. I’m not like Eminem or anyone, but I was just using my mind and putting ink to paper. I am highly proud of this,” he said.

According to Paddy O’Callaghan, who also worked on the horse, the purpose of the project was to “tell our story of where we were and what we are after coming through, and where we are headed to. It’s from the negative to the positive”.

PALLS manager Margaret Griffin said the men involved “want a chance in life” and complimented their enthusiasm.

“They want a place where there is kindness and respect, but they also want challenge, especially around their educational attainment; they want to progress,” she said.

PALLS chairperson Karl Shanahan said they have a “great group of guys”.