New mural offers message of hope and strength to domestic abuse victims

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Sarah Bruce, Belfast-Lisburn Women’s Aid worker, with artist Rory McCann and the new mural

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan

A striking new mural of a mother elephant and her baby calf will be used by Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid to highlight the work it does around the issue of domestic abuse.

The mural was painted by 34-year-old artist Rory McCann who lives in Shrewsbury in England.

Kelly Andrews, Chief Executive of Belfast-Lisburn Women’s Aid, said: “Rory was running a competition on his Facebook page last year whereby he would give his time freely to paint a mural in a school. I suggested to Rory, who is my cousin, what about painting a mural for a Women’s Aid refuge in Belfast?’.

“The image of the mother elephant and her calf was suggested for our mural because it symbolises hope, strength, faith and resilience. The mural will definitely be a conversation piece. I hope that the women and children who see it will think of inner strength and that it’s okay to ask for help.

“Just as the mother elephant is there for her calf, Women’s Aid are here to support women through their own journey to freedom from domestic abuse.

“I was also aware of Rory’s talent and the fact that he has had arthritis since the age of eight.

“Rory has overcome his own personal adversity to become a motivational speaker and conservationist.

“We are all very grateful to Rory. One of the women who uses our services said the painting was ‘simply stunning’.”

Artist Rory, who mainly works in schools, said: “Ninety per cent of my work is for schools, the rest is for hospitals, hospices, youth centres and sometimes for people’s homes.

“My own interpretation of the mural is that it shows strength and course. The mother elephant and baby calf are on a journey and are supporting each other. Together they are strong.”


• To see more of Rory’s work go to

• Belfast-Lisburn Women’s Aid –

To read VIEW issue on domestic abuse –



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