Illustrating community spirit and science with a large-scale mural for local primary school

Pictured at the mural launch are (L-R): Back row. Conor O’Keefe, Mikie Rowe, Mark Langtry, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Front row, 6th class students from Claddagh National School
Feb 09 2023 Posted: 14:02 GMT

Students at Claddagh National School in Galway paint mural inspired by Galway’s marine, medtech and football culture

CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, has partnered with local artists Birgit and Peter Lochmann, to create a large-scale mural with students from Claddagh National School. The mural, funded by Claddagh Credit Union, was tailor-made to reflect the spirit of the school and community.

Incorporating themes of the Galway community is at the heart of the mural, which was designed to reflect the students’ talents and interests. Galway’s marine culture and medtech industry are represented by the marine materials scientists research to identify new ways to heal the body. 

In keeping with the school’s love of football, the mural was installed on the Astro pitch and features the late Eamonn “Chick” Deacy, a local Galway football legend.

Through a cross-curricular co-creation process, students became aware of their locality and its link to scientific achievements, conservation, and the role of their community.

CÚRAM researchers and the artists gave a series of art science workshops through which students learned how scientists use marine-inspired materials to discover ways of developing cures to treat various illnesses. This helped illustrate the importance of keeping our oceans healthy to keep our bodies healthy as well. The workshops reflected CÚRAM’s “Marine Meets Medtech” exhibit developed and hosted in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland.

The mural was officially launched on Wednesday, February 8 by players from the Galway United men's and women's squads: Conor O'Keeffe, Mikie Rowe, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Mark Langtry (‘Mark the Science Guy’) also performed his “Football Physics” show to teach students how science can enhance their sports performance.

Gabriel Farragher, 6th class teacher at Claddagh National School, said: “We were delighted to participate in the project as it provided the pupils with an exciting opportunity to get involved in hands-on, cross-curricular workshops, on a weekly basis, incorporating the areas of Science and Art. The football angle added an even greater interest in the project for the pupils. The icing on the cake is the colourful mural that now brightens up our Astro pitch.”

Louise Shields, CEO of Claddagh Credit Union, said of the project: “With community at the centre of this incredible project, reflecting community at the heart of our credit union, we were delighted to support this mural project. We are so impressed to see the outcome of this collaboration in the mural in Claddagh National School.”

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: "We are always trying new ways for our researchers to collaborate with community partners to create a better understanding and awareness of our research and its importance for society. This collaboration with the Claddagh Credit Union and students of the Claddagh National School promotes the idea of transdisciplinary research and showcases the value of bringing the worlds of art and science together.”


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