Magherafelt's new sculpture branded a 'monstrosity'

The new public artwork which will be going up in Magherafelt shortly
The new public artwork which will be going up in Magherafelt shortly

A DUP politician has described Magherafelt’s new public sculpture as “a £46,000 monstrosity”.

The artwork by acclaimed sculptor Maurice Harron is due to be placed at the Market Square roundabout early next month.

A close up of the artwork

A close up of the artwork

It will be situated where the disputed Union flag pole - erected by the local Orange Order - was removed by the council earlier this year.

Councillor Paul McLean said the money could have been spent on providing decent public toilets.

The DUP leader on Mid Ulster Council said he understood a legal challenge had been mounted against the council’s decision to remove the flagpole.

“I would like to see the pole reinstated and the Union flag flying again,” he said.

But local Sinn Féin Councillor Darren Totten welcomed the sculpture, saying it would brighten-up the town.

“The town centre is a bit of an eyesore and the sculpture will help finish off the public realm scheme,” he said.

Cllr Totten said the delay in placing the artwork was due to it having to be tested by the Department for Regional Development to ensure it was structurally sound.

Ulster Unionist Councillor George Shiels was of the opinion that the £46,000 could have been “better spent.”

“There are big demands on the council budget at present and I can see no benefit to those in need in this,” he said.

Welcoming the artwork, SDLP Councillor Christine McFlynn said it “would be nice for the town.”

“The artwork will be a centrepiece for the middle of Magherafelt and complete the public realm scheme,” she said.