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New Books are Works of Art

Press Cuttings


Two new books featuring the local history of Coleraine and the Causeway Coast and Ballymoney in picture and text have just been released by Cottage Publications. And they are little gems.

Each book contains more than twenty paintings of buildings and local scenes accompanied by detailed historical descriptions.

The paintings of Coleraine and the Causeway Coast are by Gerald Maguire who was born in Belfast. Self-taught, he is equally comfortable working in oils or watercolours.

Although he has painted all over Ireland, he is most attracted to subjects along the Causeway Coast with a particular interest in buildings.

Currently living in his native Belfast, his studio in Castlerock, which he opened for many years as a gallery during the summer months, is well known throughout the Coleraine and Causeway Coast area.

Formally employed as a draftsman with the Civil Service, the continually increasing demand for his work has recently permitted Gerald to become a full-time artist.

The text is by Bob Curran who was born in the Mourne Mountains of County Down and is a graduate of the University of Ulster at Coleraine. He has lived in the Coleraine area for more than twenty years and takes a keen interest in the history and folklore of the region and has taught and written extensively on both topics.

His voice is well known to radio listeners through his frequent presentation of items of local historyand folklore and he has also researched and scripted much of the background material for the Myths and Legends section of the Dunluce Centre in Portrush.

Heavily involved in the development of Adult and Community Education, Bob has travelled widely and his services are always very much in demand, both as a lecturer on Irish History and folklore and as a storyteller.

Jack Wilkinson is the artist behind the pictures in the Ballymoney edition. He has been painting in the North Antrim area for many years and whether in watercolours or oils, his work has a distinctive mood and style which has made it much sought after by discerning patrons across the province and beyond.

He taught art in the technical colleges in Ballymoney and Portrush for 25 years and has also painted a number of portraits, notably that of Ballymoney playright George Sheils, which hangs in the Gallery of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Well known as the Historian of Ballymoney, S Alex Blair has provided the text for the book. He has made a name for himself as a writer, lecturer and broadcaster and is the author of eight books of local history, hailed as classics of their kind.

He is Head of History and Senior Teacher at Dalriada School, Ballymoney, and plays a large part in the life of Ballymoney and district. He is secretary of the local drama festival and was, for many years, a Vice-President of the Young Farmers' Clubs movement whose history he has written.

The Ballymoney book was launched at a ceremony in the town on Friday evening while the Coleraine edition will get it's launch this coming Saturday evening in the Town Hall at 7.30 p.m.

The books, which accompany a similar book on the Glens of Antrim published last year, cost £9.95 and are well worth every penny of it.

From the 'Coleraine Chronicle' October 1995

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