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Pensioner killed after being struck by car in Derry remembered as a 'gentleman' by MP Mark Durkan

Published 22/02/2016

SDLP's Mark Durkan
SDLP's Mark Durkan

A 70-year-old man who died after being struck by a car in Londonderry has been remembered as a "complete gentleman" as SDLP MP Mark Durkan leads tributes.

The pensioner was James Brendan O'Connor who was from the local area.

Mr O’Connor was a former Chair of the SDLP’s District Executive in the city, and produced most of the campaign material for John Hume in both Westminster and European elections.

The crash which happened on the Culmore Road was reported to police shortly before 6.55pm.

A 43-year-old man was arrested and questioned in connection with the collision.

He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The Culmore Road remains closed this morning and a diversion is in place.

SDLP MP for Foyle Mr Durkan said: “Brendan O’Connor 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.

“As a design professional, he produced most of the campaign material for John Hume in both Westminster and European elections.  Indeed, he was particularly enthusiastic about the European project and would have been passionate in the forthcoming referendum."

Mr Durkan said it was a "tragic loss" for his family.

He said: “Brendan was a natural storyteller and a thoughtful companion as well as a loyal activist who would be straight with his thoughts.

“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.”

Police investigating the circumstances of the collision are appealing for witnesses. The number to call 101.

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