‘Low turnout’ for Coalisland canal walk

Coalisland canal’s annual Christmas walk suffered a large drop in numbers after last year’s bumper turnout.

>Video of Coalisland canal walk


Organisers estimated between 30 and 40 people attended this year’s winter walk – a 90% drop on the number of people who attended the event last year.

(Scroll down for video)

A crowd of up to 400 joined the annual walk on the same day last year as a special piece of artwork to commemorate Coalisland councillor and local historian Jim Canning was officially unveiled.

Organisers estimated between 30 and 40 people attended this year’s winter walk

Coalisland canal committee chairman Martin Hughes said he was not surprised by the drop in numbers, saying a larger crowd attended last year to mark the unveiling of artwork in memory of Mr Canning.

He said: “Thousands of people walk the canal every month and many continue to show their support for developing the town’s waterway.

“Last year’s event brought a bumper turnout as we unveiled artwork to commemorate our former chairman Jim Canning.

“We are planning to hold a number of events next year, which we hope the Coalisland community will continue to support.”

Families and community members walked along the canal towards Moor Bridge

Families and community members were greeted with crisp afternoon sunshine as they set out on the canal walk towards Moor Bridge.

A brief shower of rain occurred as people returned towards the Cornmill, where refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits were provided.

Larger crowds attended last year’s annual winter walk for the unveiling of artwork in memory of Jim Canning.

Refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits were provided in the Cornmill following the walk

The artwork – understood to have cost about £2,000 – has been placed on the ground floor of the Cornmill.

It was created by German sculptor Holger Christian Lönze, an artist in residence with Craigavon council.

The cost of the plaque was spread between three community groups, including the Coalisland canal group.

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