I attended the unveiling of the first ever portrait of a former Lord Mayor by a muralist at Belfast City Hall today.
Artist Danny Devenny, well known for painting murals across the city, spent several months working on the portrait of last year`s Lord Mayor, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile.
The new artwork will now will now hang alongside the portraits of previous first citizens in the corridors of City Hall and four of us were pictured together with the present Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson.
Featuring Councillor Ó Donnghaile wearing his chain of office and surrounded by items significant to his term in office, the portrait is expected to be a big talking point.
“I think Danny has captured perfectly an important year for me and this city,” said Cllr Ó Donnghaile.
“All of the items depicted in the portrait – the street sign for Short Strand, the mug bearing the MTV logo, the poster of Titanic, and other personal touches that Danny has added – all have a direct link to my year as Mayor. No doubt every time I will look at the portrait, the good memories will come flooding back”.
Commenting on the commission, Danny Devenny said: “I am a good friend of Niall, so this portrait is very special for me, and it was a real honour to be asked to do it. I hope all who see it will agree that I have managed to capture a good likeness of the man, and to convey what was a really successful year for him and for Belfast”.
Each year, a portrait of the previous Lord Mayor is commissioned and placed on display in the corridor leading to the Council Chamber and Lord Mayor`s Parlour.