New home for restored Sacred Heart painting

The antique picture of the Sacred Heart, restored and now hung in St Oliver Plunkett's Church in Strathfoyle in Derry. Included is Willie McLaughlin who sponsored the restoration, and members of the Dixon Family, who donated the picture to the parish, with Fr Roland Colhoun, who blessed the picture.
The antique picture of the Sacred Heart, restored and now hung in St Oliver Plunkett's Church in Strathfoyle in Derry. Included is Willie McLaughlin who sponsored the restoration, and members of the Dixon Family, who donated the picture to the parish, with Fr Roland Colhoun, who blessed the picture.

A century old devotional painting that has not been seen in almost forty years has been restored and hung in a church in Strathfoyle in Derry.

The painting originally held prime position above the altar in the old church of St Canice at Enagh Lough from around 1917.

But with the opening of the new church of St Oliver Plunkett in 1975, the Lough church closed and many of its artefacts were discarded or put into storage.

The old image of the Sacred Heart was rescued by the Dixon family from Strathfoyle who preserved it in their home down the years.

In recent weeks the family have donated it back to the parish in preparation for the novena to the Sacred Heart.

Brother Joe Connolly of Bishop Street carefully restored the 3½ feet by 4½ feet picture.

He also gave it a new gold frame before it was hung on the northern wall inside the Church of St Oliver Plunkett.

Last Friday, the feast day of the Sacred Heart, Fr Roland Colhoun, curate, celebrated Mass to welcome the antique painting to the church.

It was formally unveiled by Rory Kirk, parishioner, and blessed to mark its new home in the parish. Fr Colhoun thanked Willie McLaughlin, the eldest member of the community, for sponsoring the project and facilitating the restoration of the old picture.

A large congregation joyfully welcomed its unveiling, many reminiscing on their last sighting of it, some 37 years ago.