Artist seeking good home for his local heroes

Denis McAlinden, from Castor Bay Road, with his paintings of local war heroes. INLM02-211.
Denis McAlinden, from Castor Bay Road, with his paintings of local war heroes. INLM02-211.
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A local artist is trying to find a good home for a collection of paintings of Lurgan’s war heroes and raise some funds for charity in the process.

Denis McAlinden who lives at Castor Bay Road has a passion for local history and an artistic streak. A few years ago he combined his talents to create four metre-squared masterpieces depicting the town’s war heroes - William McFadzean, Field Marshall Sir John Dill, Tom McAlindon and Jim Haughey.

The paintings are done on wood with acrylics and although Denis is very proud of them, he’s had to make a tough choice.

Denis, a member of Lurgan Art Society, said: “They’re big paintings and I put an awful lot of work into them. I’ve read a lot about these four guys and to go along with the painting I’ve made a little plaque explaining who the men were and why they should be remembered.

“The problem is I’ve no room for them in the house. I’d like them to go to a good home. I’m not looking any money for them, but what I would ask is that if anyone who would like to take one of the paintings off me, they make a donation to a children’s cancer charity.

Cancer survivor Denis got the all clear six years ago after battling the disease. The 66-year-old, who is vice chair of Lough Neagh Writers’ Group has written several poems about his experience.

Denis said his children were all very clever and he felt a bit left out in terms of qualifications. He told how he experienced a new lease of life at the age of 50 after a triple heart bypass.

He went back to school and ended up with a diploma in Humanities. He also studied film making and took up writing and acting with a local theatre group. Denis was no stranger to acting having been a member of Lurgan Operatic Society in his youth.

He’s done a bit of extra work in recent years and in his spare time Denis has written an 80,000 word novel, as yet unpublished.

Denis and his wife have been fostering for the last 25 years. In addition they have four children of their own and four grandchildren.

Anyone who can provide a good home for one or all of Denis’s paintings should contact him on 0781 084 4082. All he asks in return is that they make a suitable donation to NI Cancer Fund for Children.