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Top Northern Ireland businessman Hugh McWilliams dies in Draperstown road crash

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Derry GAA main sponsors Hugh and Anne McWilliams at a jersey launch in 2015. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Derry GAA main sponsors Hugh and Anne McWilliams at a jersey launch in 2015. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Derry GAA main sponsors Hugh and Anne McWilliams at a jersey launch in 2015. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

One of Northern Ireland's top businessmen has died in a road traffic accident in Draperstown on Friday afternoon.

Hugh McWilliams, managing director of H&A Mechanical Services, was involved in the accident on the Five Mile Straight.

Mr McWilliams' company was the main sponsor for both the local GAA club, St Colm's, Ballinascreen and all Derry GAA teams.

"Derry GAA are devastated at the untimely death of Hugh McWilliams," read a County Board statement.

"Hugh was a giant of generosity. He was unstinting in his support for county, club and community. The GAA was a way of life for Hugh and his untimely death will be a shock across the county," the statement continued.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne, his family and everyone at the Ballinascreen club at this time."

Mr McWilliams and his wife Anne were listed in the Sunday Times Rich List in 2017 and 2018.

In a statement, St Colm's GAC said they were "devastated".

"Ballinascreen GAC are devastated to learn of the sudden death of our friend, club Sponsor and esteemed member, Hugh McWilliams," they said.

"The Club Executive and all our members extend our deepest sympathy to Hugh’s wife Anne, daughter Maureen, son Carlus, son-in-law Brendan, daughter-in-law Maria, grandchildren Ollie, Leo, Lily and Fiadh and the extended family circle."

"As a mark of respect all Club games and activities are suspended and club facilities will be closed until further notice. Ár dheis Dé go raibh a anam."

The Derry Camogie team said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.

"Hugh and his wife Anne have been great ambassadors for our county for many seasons and their generous sponsorship through their successful H&A business has helped us pave the way for many successful underage and senior teams at both club and county level," the statement said.

"Therefore as a mark of respect, Derry County Camogie Board have taken the decision to postpone all this weekend's fixtures including both adult and underage.

"We tender our sincerest condolences to Ann, Hugh's family and the wider family circle as well as all associated with Ballinascreen GAA. Mary Queen of the Gael, Pray for Him."

Police confirmed a man died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Five Mile Straight road in Draperstown at around 1.10pm on Friday.

A PSNI spokesman said: "The male who sadly died was the driver of the vehicle. He has been named as Hugh Vincent McWilliams, aged in his 60s."

Inspector Gavin Sterling said: “Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with any information to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 956 14/08/20.”

Belfast Telegraph