Belfast residents gather by mural portrait to applaud Captain Sir Tom Moore

David Young, PA

Pouring rain did not deter those gathering at a popular mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore in Belfast from paying tribute to the late fundraiser.

Residents of the Clonduff estate in the east of the city clapped beside the striking image of the 100-year-old veteran to applaud his memory as the clock turned 6pm on Wednesday.

Some saluted the painting during an event that brought young and old onto the rain-soaked street.

Among them were husband and wife Thomas and Sarah Agnew.

“He was a very important man from the start of the pandemic until now, until he passed away,” Mrs Agnew told the PA news agency.

“We’re so proud of him for doing what he did for the National Health Service – very, very proud of him.”

Local residents stand beside a mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore in Clonduff, east Belfast, as they join in with a nationwide clap
Local residents stand beside a mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore in Clonduff, east Belfast, as they join in with a nationwide clap (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mrs Agnew said her son had tweeted a picture of the mural to Sir Tom’s account earlier in the pandemic and was delighted to receive a thumbs-up in return.

Mr Agnew said the mural had been attracting interest across the UK since it was painted last April.

“It’s been there ever since and it’s just heightened everything up tonight for people to get out and clap for him,” he said.

Earlier Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann invoked the memory of Sir Tom as he urged people to stick with the region’s ongoing lockdown.

“We are making progress, let’s keep building on that, there are no short cuts out of this,” he said.

“Let’s keep being inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore as we mourn his loss, let us remember all he achieved, one step at a time.”

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