• 08 June 2021

Walking challenge for Shankill’s Denis Johnston

Denis Johnston, former SAMS Ireland General Secretary and life–long member of Shankill Parish, Lurgan, is marking his 70th birthday with a sponsored walk for two organisations close to his heart.

Denis’ wife Hilary died from cancer 23 years ago at the age of forty and more recently he lost his younger brother Alan (an Irish cricket international) and his close friend Archdeacon Philip Patterson to the disease. He is walking for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of all three.

Denis’ involvement with SAMS and mission in South America goes back over forty years and some of the £10,000 he hopes to raise will help to build a toilet block and kitchen facilities for the indigenous community in Paraguay.


Denis has also been involved in sport most of his life and captained both Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and Lurgan Cricket Club. His 14–mile sponsored walk on Saturday 19 June will begin at Lisnagarvey’s ground in Hillsborough and end at Lurgan’s ground at Pollock Park. Denis will be joined by several family members and friends along the way.

Lurgan RF&CC ambassador and Ireland rugby international Jacob Stockdale says, “I am delighted to see Denis retaining his sporting links and congratulate him on marking his 70th birthday in this unique manner. I wish him well in this endeavour and trust you will support his chosen charities.”

To sponsor Denis and raise funds for both Macmillan and SAMS please visit:


To find out more about 7+7@70 please visit: www.samsireland.com