The most ambitious children’s arts project commissioned in Northern Ireland has almost completed at Slieve Gullion and is set to become a landmark cultural attraction for the island of Ireland.The Giant’s Lair, is an innovative magical living storybook devised through a trail of intertwined fairy house and arts features creating a childhood land with dragons, giants and fairies inspired by legend and mythical folklore on over a mile of woodlands at Slieve Gullion forest park. As an enhancement to the project, a collection of children’s storybooks is being developed that will tell of the adventures of some of the many little people that live on the mountain.
The project, which is led by Sticky Fingers Arts, in partnership with Newry and Mourne District Council, is been funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and NMDC and is the largest investment for a children’s arts project in Northern Ireland.
“The Giant’s Lair is the combination of a number of different projects that have been devised at Slieve Gullion over the years by Sticky Fingers working with local children and Newry and Mourne District Council. The combination of using the arts and the woodlands to create a high quality play facility for children is a perfect and natural combination. The project also is a way of promoting the mythology and natural heritage of Slieve Gullion and south Armagh in a positive way and will open the area to a new generation of visitors creating much needed revenue to the local business community. The Giant’s Lair is a natural addition to Sticky Fingers portfolio and the interpretation of magical children’s fairytales are a natural medium for Sticky Fingers to work with, providing plenty of material to create a very special and enchanted environment for children to play” Grainne Powell, Chief Executive – Sticky Fingers Arts.
It is hoped that The Giant’s Lair will officially open to the public in time for the Easter Holidays 2015. It will, no doubt, be a very popular experience for local people and tourists alike and will help to put Slieve Gullion firmly on the Irish tourist map as a must visit destination for young and old alike.