08/09/2012 Ground Zero Exhibition is a record of immense world tragedy – McGinley

Dinny McGinley TD  Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will on Sunday next  (9th September, 2012) officially open – Ground Zero 360° – an exhibition portraying the events of September 11, 2001 and the days immediately following when tragedy previously unimagined shook the world.  The exhibition will go on display at the Regional Cultural Centre, Donegal

On September, 11 2001 Nicola Mc Clean, a Fine Art Photographer who had worked for the Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America Magazine took to the streets of New York and recorded at first hand the devastation, confusion and panic which was unfolding around her.

The exhibition is a visual and audio retrospective highlighting Emergency Workers, who, with countless number of professional and volunteer police and fire fighters, responded to the attacks of the World trade Centre in New York city.

Speaking in advance of the opening Minister McGinley said “I am particularly delighted that this exhibition will now be available to the public in Donegal, which is a very fitting location, given all of the connections to the County. Paul McCormack one of the co-creators of the exhibition, is from Donegal. Paul grew up in Ballybofey and attended Dooish NS and Stranorlar VS before emigrating to New York where he joined the Police Department in 1990. He was serving as a commander (Deputy Inspector) in New York on September 11, 2001”

“Martin Irwin who hails from Ballybofey has  transported, assembled and hung every exhibition to date, along with Shane Wallace (Wallace Media) from Burt who has attended and videoed each of the openings. Indeed, this exhibition is dedicated to one of the victims, Damian Meehan, whose family is from Donegal Town. The Meehans are a very proud Donegal family, who are very well respected in all New York circles. Two of Damian’s brother’s were in the Fire Department and another was in the Police Department. I know too, that Mike Meehan, Damian’s father was one of the founders of the Donegal GAA club in New York and was also formerly President of the Donegal Association there. In honour of Damian, the Association’s Person of the Year Award is now named “The Damian Meehan award”, which I am sure you will all agree is a very fitting tribute ”

Minister McGinley added “We each have our own personal memories of that fateful day, where we were, who we were with, for some it is sadly, whom we lost.  The image will probably always be with us of the Twin Towers being attacked and subsequently imploding on our TV screens. This exhibition is a record of this immense world tragedy. It is a reminder that we must truly never forget all the men and women who died in this attack on freedom. I want to acknowledge Paul Mc Cormack who since his retirement has tirelessly worked to create this exhibition along with Nicola his wife to honour his friends and colleagues who lost their lives on September 11.


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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