Orangefest slogan: ‘It’s about the Battle, not the Bottle’ goes on the wall

Pictured at the mural unveiling are (L-R) William Humphrey MLA; Jennifer Hawthorne, Housing Executive Head of Communities; and Billy Mawhinney, co-ordinator of Belfast Orangefest
Pictured at the mural unveiling are (L-R) William Humphrey MLA; Jennifer Hawthorne, Housing Executive Head of Communities; and Billy Mawhinney, co-ordinator of Belfast Orangefest

A mural setting the context of an alcohol awareness campaign for the Twelfth of July has been unveiled in west Belfast.

The canvas painting which includes the slogan ‘It’s about the Battle, not the Bottle’ depicts a bass drummer against the backdrop of the Ulster Tower, Thiepval, and Helen’s Tower, Conlig, signifying the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Last month, the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast launched its initiative to counter the over indulgence of alcohol during the parade in the city next Tuesday.

The mural – funded by the Housing Executive - is the latest component of a major advertising campaign ahead of the Twelfth with various billboards, and posters on public transport, already spreading the message to the wider public.

The co-ordinator of Belfast Orangefest, Billy Mawhinney, was joined at the mural unveiling at Ainsworth Street by the Housing Executive’s Jennifer Hawthorne and local MLA William Humphrey.

Mr Mawhinney said: “The Twelfth of July is always a celebration, but this year it is also a commemoration. The mural, which is the latest element of our ongoing campaign ahead of the big day, illustrates the significance and sacrifice of the Battle of the Somme so poignantly and we hope the message resonates with our target audience.

We want people to enjoy themselves, but to do so in a sensible and respectful manner so the day is a memorable one for all concerned

“We want people to enjoy themselves, but to do so in a sensible and respectful manner so the day is a memorable one for all concerned.”

Mr Mawhinney also expressed gratitude to the Housing Executive and other funding partners for their support.

Jennifer Hawthorne, Housing Executive Head of Communities, said:

“It was important for us to support Belfast Orangefest’s desire to counter the over-indulgence of alcohol during the parade in the city next Tuesday and to help support a peaceful and inclusive day for all those who live within our estates.

“By investing in this project we are helping to build and foster a safer, vibrant community which can develop strong positive relationships and show respect for diversity through acceptable expressions of cultural identity.”

For more information on the alcohol awareness campaign, follow Belfast Orangefest on Facebook and Twitter.