Dermot O'Toole Memorial Mural
Justine Wallace paints a vibrant mural in Hastings, honoring Mr. Dermot O’Toole. O’Toole Walk, in Hasings has been undergoing some changes over recent weeks – including a new mural in honor of Dermot O’Toole. The artwork is part of an upgrade of the civil infrastructure within the busy laneway.
Dermot O’Toole was tragically killed in 2013 at the family-run Jewellery store in Hastings in an attempted armed robbery. He was a loving family man (grandad, father and uncle), a former champion Irish dancer and ran the family Jewellery shop in Hastings with his wife Bridget for several years.
The pictorial tribute to a much loved local hero is the work of artist Justine Wallace, in collaboration with Mornington Peninsula Shire and the O’Toole family.
The mural depicts milestones in the life of Mr. O’Toole. It begins in Ireland and then shows the ship that brought Mr O’Toole and his wife to Australia in 1971. There are lots of Celtic inspired patterns, Mr. O’Toole’s jewelry shop and a portrait of the man, wearing the star of courage medal, which was posthumously awarded to him for his courage in circumstances of great peril. Mr. O’Toole was especially fond of eagles too, hence the two wedge-tails soaring over the landscape.
“The experience of creating this [artwork] as a tribute to the life of such a widely loved gentleman was really special. O’Toole Walk is a busy thoroughfare and so while Justine was painting the mural, a lot of people stopped to comment and talk with me about their memories of Dermot.
“Painting the O’Toole tribute was a really special experience. Every day, people from all walks of life talked to me as they walked by. I wrote down some of the comments because it’s so encouraging to get so much fresh, positive feedback as you work. I didn’t want to forget any of it.
“Dermot would be proud of that”
“You really captured him”
“He was a really wonderful man”
“Hastings needs this”