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Irish News stalwart Joe dies at age of 69

Retired journalist Joseph Fitzpatrick, who has died aged 69, dedicated his adult life to the Irish News, for which he worked in various capacities for half-a-century. Joe had a passion for the paper which never diminished.

"He brought dedication and sincerity to every task. It was a privilege to work with him," said Editor Noel Doran.

He began in the newspaper as an apprentice compositor, but this was only one department in which he saw service. He was also a delivery driver, acting advertising manager and, in the 1980s, joined editorial as a sub-editor.

"He had an amazing career with the paper at Donegall Street in Belfast," added Mr Doran, "and he made a distinguished contribution to our Faith Matters section, of which he was compiler."

He was also letters editor, but his career highlight was going to Vancouver for the Commonwealth Games as the paper's swimming correspondent. He was also honorary secretary of Swim Ulster.

He is survived by two sisters, Sister Mazella and Therese.

Requiem mass will be at St Bernard's Church in Glengormley today at 10am with burial afterwards at Milltown cemetery.

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