Dundalk’s railway heritage will be highlighted in SEEK 2023 festival

Mack Signs, who created this mural for last year's SEEK Urban Arts Festival, returns this year to work on a mural celebrating Dundalk's railway heritage

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

A mural celebrating Dundalk’s railway heritage is to be painted at the newly built Coláiste Cuchulainn as part of this year’s SEEK Urban Arts Festival.

The latest artist announcement by the festival organisers reveals that Mack Signs, who has already created some striking work in town, has been invited to create a mural celebrating the town’s long and rich railway heritage.

Working with Dundalk Railway Society and Louth Archives Services, the artist will have access to some of the amazing blueprints for the engines and carriages designed and made at ‘the works’ here in Dundalk.

In particular, he will focus the Slieve Donard steam engine and the story behind its design and manufacture.

The site for this mural is the striking Coláiste Cuchulainn beside the Marshes and the students at the school will have an opportunity to engage with the creative process while the mural is being made. Creative Spark Print Studio will provide an insight into the magic of blueprints with a series of cyanotype workshops at the school.

This is the second year that Mack Signs, has worked with the SEEK festival – last year the Co Meath artist, who is renowned for his signwriting, created the ‘Flow Gently Sweet Afton’ mural on the side of the old P J Carrolls factory in Church Street.

Brendan McQuaid, ex-Dundalk Station Master, and President of Dundalk Railway Heritage Society, said “We at the Heritage Society are delighted to be involved in this project in remembering GNR(1) S Class 4-4-0 engine 172 Slieve Donard which was built at Dundalk in 1938, and are delighted to be involved with SEEK Urban Arts Festival”

This is the fifth year that SEEK Urban Arts Festival is taking place in Dundalk, and once again it promises to be a week-long celebration of art and culture in the town.

It has already revealed been that the award winning Studio Giftig will bring the story of Roesia de Verdun to life, with other announcements to come in the run-up to the festival, which gets underway on July 1

There is something for everyone at the festival this year as the hugely popular children’s creative workshops and free festival guided walking tours will also take place during the week.

This festival is spearheaded by a partnership of Dundalk BIDS and Creative Spark, and receives key funding and sponsorship from Creative Ireland and Colourtrend. It would not be possible without the support and input from many local community, voluntary and business organisations, making it a truly community-driven event for our town.

Sarah Daly and the team at Creative Spark are really looking forward to Seek Urban Arts Festival 2023 and excited to be bringing even more creative opportunities to children, teens and adults when they bring a little part of Creative Spark on tour to the Market Square on the weekends of the festival.

Check out the festival website for more details; times, dates and booking information will be added over the coming weeks. www.seekdundalk.ie