Sunday 17 December 2017

Intimate portrait of tragic Jack to be shown in exhibition

The picture of Jack Blaine taken on a Castlebar street at Christmas 2010
The picture of Jack Blaine taken on a Castlebar street at Christmas 2010
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THIS is one of the last images ever taken of tragic Mayo man Jack Blaine.

The elderly man whose violent death alongside his brother Tom (69) caused shockwaves around the country is to be immortalised as part of an art exhibition.

Mr Blaine (76) was pictured by local Castlebar photographer Alison Laredo just before Christmas 2010 for her Intimate Strangers project.

The two men were found dead in their home on New Antrim Street in Castlebar on the morning of Wednesday, July 10.

The image, entitled 'His Name is Jack', shows the gentle Mayo man staring into windows on a cold December night as wrapped-up shoppers pass by.

"I was taking pictures for my Intimate Strangers exhibition and Jack was perfect. I'd seen him around town a lot but spotted him just before Christmas and he really did look small and alone with strangers crowded around him," said Ms Laredo. "The winter of 2010 was really freezing with the temperatures reaching minus 17 degrees. Just before Christmas, I was walking up Main Street in Castlebar when I noticed Jack looking in a shop window, as around him people rushed about getting ready for Christmas. Jack was shuffling along, no hurry on him as usual and the contrast between the two caught my eye."

The photographer had seen the quiet elderly man several times in the town. But as mourners at his funeral Mass were told, the much loved character did not speak much and preferred to show his affection by giving out kisses to the shops and businesses in his home town.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will incorporate up to 20 images.

Alan Cawley (26) with an address of Four Winds, Corrimbla South, Ballina, Co Mayo, has been charged with the double murder of the brothers.

Irish Independent

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