Belfast Telegraph

Tributes flow for amateur drama stalwart

By Dan McGinn

TRIBUTES were pouring in today for a leading light of Ulster's amateur drama scene and a founding member of the SDLP who died yesterday.

TRIBUTES were pouring in today for a leading light of Ulster's amateur drama scene and a founding member of the SDLP who died yesterday.

Sean Hollywood, whose Newpoint Players group in Newry are also mourning the death of Regina Morgan who was killed in a house fire on Saturday with her husband Martin, died suddenly at his Newry home.

He had been helping priests at St Colman's Cathedral prepare their homily for the Requiem Mass for Mr and Mrs Morgan today.

A teacher at St Colman's College, he was a former civil rights leader, inter-county hurler and doyen of the amateur theatre scene.

Under his direction, the Newpoint Players swept many of the top amateur drama awards.

He also helped launch the acting careers of John Lynch of 'Cal' and 'Sliding Doors' fame, his sister Susan currently in the BBC series, 'Amongst Women' and Gerard Murphy who featured in the Kevin Costner movie 'Waterworld'.

He was the chairman of the Newry and Mourne arts committee.

A founding member of the SDLP, he stood against Enoch Powell in South Down in the October 1974 General Election, coming within 1,000 votes of defeating the maverick Ulster Unionist politician.

He managed Armagh's senior hurling team, played gaa and hurling for Newry Shamrocks which he also coached and played in Carnbane soccer league.

His Newpoint Players colleague and SDLP Newry and Mourne councillor, Charlie Smyth was 'shocked' today by his friend's sudden death.

'Coming so soon after Regina's death in the fire on Saturday, this is a terrible, terrible blow to Newry and to drama and the arts in general.

'He will be sadly missed and I would like to offer my sincere sympathy to his family.'Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon also expressed his shock at Mr Hollywood's death.

'I am extremely sorry to learn of Sean's death. His work in the community as a sportsman and a giant of amateur drama will be deeply missed.

'He stood for the SDLP's values in so many ways, especially at the most difficult of periods. We will especially miss him.'

Belfast Telegraph

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