Tributes paid to a 'true gentleman' as cyclist dies after being hit by car
Tributes have been paid to a "true gentleman" who died in a crash on the main Belfast to Bangor road yesterday.
David Catherwood, who was in his 60s, was cycling towards Bangor with a friend at around 6.30am when they were involved in a collision with a white Mazda car.
The other cyclist, aged in his 30s, had minor injuries but Mr Catherwood died at the scene.
Yesterday, friends and family in east Belfast said they were shocked by the news of the popular father-of-two's death.
He owned his own business installing security alarms but was also well-known for his work with community groups.
High Sheriff of Belfast, Jim Rodgers, said Mr Catherwood was a very active member of the Mountpottinger Methodist Church and served alongside him on the board of governors at Ashfield Girls' School. He was also a former Boys' Brigade captain in the 10th Belfast company.
Mr Rodgers said he was "totally devastated" to learn of the death of his lifelong friend.
He said: "I am so shocked and my thoughts are with his wife Janet and all his family circle. This is such dreadful news. He was such a wonderful guy with a fantastic personality.
"He was a hard worker and was very popular with everyone. No-one ever had a bad thing to say about Davy Catherwood.
"He will be sadly missed by a wide range of organisations and people but especially his wonderful family."
Mr Catherwood was also a member of Cycle 4 Christ Cycling Club which paid tribute to a "true gentleman and friend" yesterday in a Facebook post. It read: "It's with sadness of heart that I'm writing this. David Catherwood was killed this morning on the A2 between Belfast and Holywood.
"He would have brightened up anyone's day, being in his company, on the road cycling. His passion for life and his family, everything he set his heart to do for people and God, cannot be equalled. What an impact he had with us, encouraging us and saying, you can only get better."
They also offered support and prayers for his wife Janet and family and said he will be missed by everyone in the club.
Friends also took to social media to pay tribute and share memories.
Warren Mcwhirter said: "He would've went out of his way to help others.
"Words can't explain how we all feel and how his family are dealing with this sad news. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family."
David Craig added: "Prayers and thoughts to all family and loved ones. I don't know what to say. Just shocked. I will always remember his warm heart and smile. His family and friends were truly blessed to have him in their lives."
Elected representatives have called for action to prevent more deaths on the roads.
Mr Rodgers added: "The number of cyclists that are both killed and injured on our roads is quite worrying and I think we need to take a long hard look at what can be done."
North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne added that the A2 is a particularly dangerous road. He said: "This is a very busy section of road and, with upwards of 40,000 vehicle movements per day on this road, it is one of the busiest roads in Northern Ireland.
"It is devastating that yet another life has been lost on this road - sadly we have seen a number of fatalities on this road in recent years.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family and friends at this tragic time.
"This serves as another reminder of the very real dangers along this busy road and I believe we must see investment to improve road safety along this main arterial route."
Mr Catherwood was the 31st person to die on Northern Ireland's roads this year. In 2015, 38 people had died by this date.
Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the A2 yesterday morning and who witnessed the collision to contact local police or the Collision Investigation Unit on 101.