Belfast Telegraph

Political world bids farewell to Sam Foster

By Noel McAdam

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral in Fermanagh of former Stormont Environment Minister Sam Foster.

Representatives from all political parties in the Assembly joined family and friends at St Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen, where they heard the veteran Ulster Unionist described as "more than the sum of his achievements".

The Rev Rob Clements also spoke of Mr Foster's love of family, before a private burial service.

The mourners were led by 82-year-old Mr Foster's widow Dorothy, accompanied by their three children Mervyn, Helen and David and a wide family circle, which included his niece, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

They heard Mervyn pay tribute to his father.

Mourners also included the former Ulster Unionist Party leader Lord Trimble, along with many councillors and former councillors who served with Mr Foster during his three decades of service in local government.

Sinn Fein Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew also attended, along with the current UUP leader Mike Nesbitt.

Mr Foster was Environment Minister in the first Stormont administration following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease in recent years.

Although retired from front line politics for more than a decade, Mr Foster remained active within the UUP. His death on Tuesday brought tributes from across the political spectrum.

A former social worker, Mr Foster also rose to the rank of Major in the UDR and saw many of his colleagues killed by the Provisional IRA during the Troubles.

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