Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Colourful and controversial local politician, Councillor Robert Lindsay Mason has had health problems for several years

Flamboyant political maverick dies aged 64

BY DEBORAH McALEESE

BY DEBORAH McALEESE



TRIBUTES were pouring in last night for one of the most colourful and controversial characters in local politics who died at the weekend.

Throughout his many years in politics councillor Robert Lindsay Mason was never far from the newspaper pages, not just for his work as a politician but for his famously eccentric behaviour and constant rows with fellow politicians - a council colleague once allegedly threatened to knock his teeth down his throat for being a nuisance.

The flamboyant 64-year-old, who was rarely spotted dressed in anything but his colourful track-suits and baseball caps, was well known for refusing to give in to convention and was often criticised for failing to change out of his casual apparel for official engagements.

Despite being in the public eye for well over 30 years, Cllr Mason - who suffered from Asperger's Syndrome - never failed to shock his fellow politicians and the public.

When elected as a city councillor for the Falls in 1972, Cllr Mason was often spotted parading around Belfast with a bow and arrow after his firearms certificate was taken by police.

And during his time at Larne Council, the Independent councillor - who celebrated his 54th birthday in 1996 by dancing the night away at a rave - had to be removed several times by police because of his disruptive behaviour.

But while he may have clashed with most of his fellow councillors, his colleagues last night said that he will be greatly missed.

DUP councillor Bobby McKee, knew Cllr Mason for over 20 years.

"While he has been described as an itch that could not be scratched nobody disliked him and he will be missed," he said.

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