Raphoe gets a boost with new ‘Fair Day’ mural

RAPHOE Fair Day from days gone by has been remembered in the town’s new mural.

Over the past week, an artist has been transforming a cream gable wall in the Diamond in Raphoe into a work of art inspired by an image of the Diamond on a Fair Day from a photograph believed to have been taken sometime in the early 1950s.

Nik Purdy from Sligo was commissioned to reproduce the image on the gable wall of the Hyndman family home.


The late Maggie and Billy Hyndman had a corner sweet shop here back in the day and there was the remnants of a hand-painted cigarette ad from back in the 1960s. The new mural depicts a gathering of cattle dealers and local onlookers on a Fair Day which was a common sight in Raphoe for generations until they ended in the 1960s.

Most of the buildings in the mural are still to be seen, many dating back to the 1800s.

The most prominent feature in Raphoe is the Town Clock on the tower of St Eunan’s Cathedral which is also featured on the mural.

Chairperson of Raphoe Community In Action Mary Harte says the mural is the ‘icing on the cake’ of the heritage endeavours by the Volt House Community Resource Centre along with Raphoe Tidy Towns.

“We are just delighted to have had Nik Purdy to recreate the photograph onto a prominent gable wall, he is an amazing mural artist who trained with his grandfather, a signwriter in Warren Point.

“The photo was in an album given to a local family, Helen and Richard Hamilton, by a visiting professional photographer from England sometime in the 1950s. Their grand daughter, Hazel Willoughby, shared the album with the Volt House and we thought it was the most appropriate image to replicate as a mural,” said Ms Harte.

The mural is part of the Town and Village Renewal programme under the Department of Heritage and Donegal County Council.


The programme has been giving a facelift to the Diamond bringing back a heritage image to the town centre by repainting buildings and improving the shared spaces.

Ms Harte continued, “We have been working behind the scenes to have the many listed buildings in the Diamond repainted with heritage colours.

“The green space has new information plaques and seating and the Tidy Towns have been planting nature’s vibrant colours to add to the attractiveness of the Diamond.

“We have two major visitor attractions on either side of the town, the Beltany Stone Circle which has at least 10,000 visitors a year and Oakfield Park has 50,000 so Raphoe should be able to capture some of those passing visitors.

“As the say ‘build it and they will come’, so we have, let’s hope they do, if only to have their picture taken at the mural,” said Ms Harte.

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