Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has paid tribute to party Councillor Barney Fitzpatrick, who has passed away.
Barney, who served as Councillor for the Causeway area of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, passed away in hospital yesterday (Saturday). He was first elected to the previous Coleraine Borough Council in 2006, which followed 40 years of experience in the police, reaching the rank of Chief Superintendent and receiving the Queen’s Police Medal for services to the public.
He leaves behind wife Theresa and four children.
Naomi Long extended her deepest sympathies to his family circle on behalf of the Party Officers, Executive and wider Alliance members.
“Barney served the local community all his life, first as a police officer and latterly as a local councillor. Even over recent months in failing health, he continued to faithfully and diligently undertake his public duties at the Council.
“He was a man of deep religious faith, who believed passionately in reconciliation and in healing the divisions in our community. Always gracious and generous in his dealings with others, he will be greatly missed by us all in the Alliance Party and by those with whom and for whom he worked on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.”
Chris McCaw, Chair of Alliance’s East Londonderry Association, added: “Barney was someone who lived the values of Alliance. He was born in West Belfast and served in the police for over 40 years. He was wounded in the line of duty and yet chose to work for a united community in Northern Ireland, to bring divided communities together.
“I was Inspired to become involved in politics by Barney’s passionate belief in a united Northern Ireland and we will continue to work towards his vision of a united, progressive society that works for everyone.”
“I was privileged to sit with Barney as an Alliance Councillor in Coleraine Borough Council from 2011-2015,” added Yvonne Boyle, a colleague and friend.
“He was a committed and honourable Alliance representative. When Alliance was offered the Deputy Mayor post in 2014, Barney graciously allowed me the honour of the role. He was always a reassuring presence on Council and was especially known for his humorous stories. My sincere sympathy goes to Theresa and his family members.”