Belfast Telegraph

Car dealer and rally ace John Mulholland buried after losing cancer fight

The funeral of father-of-four John Mulholland
The funeral of father-of-four John Mulholland
John Mulholland
A procession of cars follows the hearse of popular car dealer John Mulholland yesterday
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

The founder of John Mulholland Motors was laid to rest yesterday after a 14-month battle with cancer.

Father-of-four John Mulholland (55), who built the multi-million pound car dealership from a £500 wedding gift, was buried in his favourite racing overalls after Requiem Mass at St Oliver Plunkett Church in Toome.

The north Belfast native died at his home on Saturday surrounded by his loved ones. Mr Mulholland moved to Randalstown during the Troubles and founded the dealership in the Co Antrim town with his wife Alicia, selling cars from the side of their house, over three decades ago.

He was also a racing fanatic, having started rally driving aged just 19. A funeral notice said the "beloved husband and father passed away at home after the most courageous 14-month battle with cancer surrounded by his beloved wife Alicia, children Alicia, Shona, Johnnie and Anna".

Following his cancer diagnoses Mr Mulholland spoke openly about his illness and fronted a major fundraising campaign in a bid to donate £40,000 to the Friends of the Cancer Centre charity by the end of the year.

His daughter Shona said the family "felt like they had their arms around us the whole time" as she paid tribute to the charity.

Mr Mulholland spent much of the last four months in hospital.

A spokesperson for John Mulholland Motors Group described him as a "gentleman".

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