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MP leads tributes to man killed after being hit by car

By Donna Deeney

Published 23/02/2016

Popular: Brendan O’Connor
Popular: Brendan O’Connor

The pedestrian who died after being struck by a car in Londonderry on Sunday was a "complete gentleman", Foyle MP Mark Durkan has said.

Brendan O'Connor was the partner of Mr Durkan's sister Mo, who works with the city's Ilex Regeneration Company.

The well-known 70-year-old had produced election literature for former SDLP leader and MP John Hume.

Mr O'Connor was retired but was heavily involved with the SDLP during his working life, particularly during Mr Hume's tenure.

A 43-year-old man arrested and questioned in connection with the death of Mr O'Connor has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries into the incident.

Mr Durkan said the whole family was deeply saddened by Mr O'Connor's death.

He said: "Brendan was the complete gentleman, committed to his own politics but always respectful of others.

"He liked to think and talk about issues and had an eye for ideas.

"He was a natural canvasser who enjoyed engaging with people and giving particular encouragement to candidates.

"His tragic death is shocking for all who knew him from his various professional, cultural, political and social pursuits.

"It is a tragic loss for his loving family, to whom he was devoted.

"I hope that the sincere condolences of Brendan's wide circle of friends will bring some comfort to his children, grandchildren, siblings and his partner Mo."

Mr O'Connor was also the brother of Paul O'Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry.

A spokeswoman for the centre said: "The board and staff at the Pat Finucane Centre wish to express our deepest condolences to our friend and colleague Paul and to the entire O'Connor family."

A spokeswoman for Ilex said: "The staff and board are deeply saddened by the untimely and tragic death of Brendan.

"Our thoughts are with our colleague Mo Durkan, and the O'Connor and Durkan families."

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