Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Belfast flute band man Jonny Hamilton who died aged 31

By Lesley Houston

Belfast man Jonny Hamilton who died suddenly on Sunday has been described as a "gentle giant".

Mr Hamilton, from the Shankill Road, was a member of the Pride of Ardoyne flute band and a popular character on the local band scene.

It is thought the 31-year-old died of a heart condition.

He leaves behind partner Denise Olphert and sons Sam and Charlie.

Members of a number of local flute bands observed a minute's silence during yesterday's Easter Monday parades in memory of their friend.

Tributes have flooded in since news of his death circulated on Sunday evening.

Belfast councillor Julie-Anne Corr Johnston described him as a gentle giant.

The PUP representative for Oldpark said the Rangers fan had helped her canvass in the 2014 council elections.

Ms Corr-Johnston posted her condolences to the man's family on Facebook.

"Heart goes out to Denise, the kids, his family, the POA family and wider Upper Ardoyne community. Rest easy Jonny, taken far too soon.

"He helped canvass for me during the 2014 elections.

"Such a gentle giant. Devastated for them."

Shankill History tweeted yesterday: "Very sad news of the loss of @HamiltonJonny big gentleman prayers are with his family & friends."

Steven Patrick tweeted: "So sad to hear of the passing of Jonny sincere condolences to his family and friends in Pride of Ardoyne FB from the officers and members of Sons of Kai Rathcoole. Gone too soon."

Dale Pankhurst offered his "Deepest sympathy to the Hamilton family on the passing of Jonny. One of the best known faces in NI's band scene".

Messages of sympathy also came from outside Northern Ireland.

Daniel Cullen said: "Thoughts are with jonnys family, and the pride of ardoynefb, from Larkhall Scotland."

Jackie Olphert said on Facebook: "Very sad news Denise, thinking of you hun at this very sad time & the boys and Jonnys Family xx".

Justin Storrie from Musselburgh in East Lothian posted a tribute on the Mr Hamilton's Facebook page.

"Rest easy Jonny Hamilton thoughts are with family and pride of ardoyne flute band on this sad day."

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