Belfast Lord Mayor, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has unveiled a special panel at a bridge over the Lagan named after one of Belfast’s most famous sons, local artist, John Luke.
Councillor Ó Muilleoir, was joined by John Luke’s nephew, Neville McKee, to unveil the interpretative panel highlighting the artist’s work and its importance to Belfast.
Among Luke’s stunning works is a mural capturing the granting of a city charter to Belfast but he also painted several evocative landscapes of the River Lagan. It was because of these landscapes the council decided to name the new bridge over the Lagan in his honour.
The Lord Mayor said: “Thousands of walkers and cyclists use the bridge and will be able to learn more about John Luke and his work.
“As one of our most famous sons he produced some wonderful pictures of the River Lagan. It is fitting that we pay tribute to him and that we welcome members of his family here today while doing so.”
The new bridge replaces a 50 year old one closed last year because of safety concerns. The £200,000 bridge is the latest project to be delivered as part of the council’s £150 million Investment Programme.
“When we agreed the programme we promised it would stretch across the city providing community benefits to everyone. This new bridge is one of those benefits providing access as it does to a wonderful scenic area that we can all enjoy.
“The River Lagan has been integral to the success of our city and it is only right that we continue to make great use of it as part of our leisure facilities,” said the Lord Mayor.
Other schemes underway as part of the Investment Programme include a new £1.82 million visitor information centre, a new 3G sports pitch at Marrowbone Millennium Park and work on Phase 1 of the Connswater Community Greenway.
John Luke’s nephew, Neville McKee, who attended with his wife Pat, said the family was delighted to see his uncle recognised in this way. “I stayed frequently with him and my granny at their home in Knappagh and we are very proud that a North Belfast man is being celebrated in this way.”