Northern Ireland news

Former UVF man Garfield Beattie paints tribute to Tyrone GAA All-Ireland team

Garfield Beattie with his painting 'Bringing Home the Sam 
Connla Young

A former UVF man convicted of killing three Catholics during the Troubles has paid tribute to the triumphant Tyrone All-Ireland winning team through his artwork.

Garfield Beattie served 16 years behind bars for the separate murders of three Catholic men in the 1970s.

The former loyalist is a keen artist and recently paid tribute to the Red Hand county, which secured its fourth All-Ireland title after victory over Mayo last month.

The 5ft by 4ft painting is currently hanging on a wall at his home at Annaghmore in Co Armagh.

The picture, which is titled 'Bringing Home the Sam' has been painted in the style of Co Armagh artist JB Vallely.

'Bringing home the Sam' by former UVF man Garfield Beattie

It depicts two Tyrone and Mayo players and is currently being advertised for sale with a price tag of £900.

Beattie, who claims his grandfather was in the IRA in the 1920s, revealed he has a long-standing interest in Gaelic Games

"I like hurling, I especially like the colours, you get some fantastic colours," he said.

"I am from Armagh and I like Tyrone, my great grandmother was from Tyrone."

He also has childhood memories of visiting his local GAA field in the late 1960s.

He previously revealed that he started painting while in jail in 1977 and undertook a history and art degree course while behind bars.

Ironically, some of his key subjects are republican figures from the last century, including Michael Collins, Tom Barry and Erskine Childers.

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