David Ford MLA said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of David McClarty. He made a significant contribution to the Assembly since 1998, including his time as Deputy Speaker.
“He showed how popular he was locally when he was elected as an independent to the Assembly in 2011. He was a very well liked politician who worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents.
“I would like to pass on my condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”