Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Family tribute to drowned DVA chief

Stanley Duncan died at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine after falling into the water near Portstewart harbour

The family of a senior civil servant who died while fishing on the north coast have paid tribute to him.

Chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Stanley Duncan, 57, died earlier this week after he fell into the water while fishing at Portstewart, Co Londonderry.

Ministers, colleagues and friends have paid tribute to the Comber man for his dedication to his job and his charity efforts.

A family statement released on Thursday said: "He was a man in a million."

Mr Duncan fell from rocks on Tuesday night close to Portstewart harbour and was recovered from the water by a lifeboat aided by nearby fishermen who held him against the rocks until help arrived. He died in hospital.

The graduate of Friends School Lisburn and Queen's University Belfast joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service after university and had served in a variety of roles for the past 36 years, including a spell in the office of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Growing up on a farm in the heart of Co Down as the third in a family of four, he developed a great love for the outdoors, and would probably have liked most to have been a farmer, his family said.

"He did a bit of sea fishing, but was particularly fond of hillwalking and camping, and his garden in Comber is a haven for all kinds of small birds, where the bird-table is always laid," the statement added.

In his younger days he played hockey for Friends Old Boys, and competed at quite a high level in motocross.

The family said: "The other great mark of Stan's life was his Christian service, expressed in a host of ways through his church, The Crescent Church on University Road in Belfast."

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