Irish president Higgins to attend funeral of ex-Belfast Lord Mayor Ian Adamson
Irish president Michael D Higgins will be among the mourners at the funeral of former Belfast Lord Mayor Ian Adamson today.
Dr Adamson, who passed away on Wednesday aged 74, will be buried at Roselawn after a funeral service at Conlig Presbyterian Church.
Mr Higgins said that he learned of his passing with "great sadness" and considered Dr Adamson a friend.
Dr Adamson invited Mr Higgins to Northern Ireland on a series of occasions to take part in historical events.
"Dr Adamson never ceased to remind us that we are all but migrants in time and his scholarship highlighted our shared history, shared identities, shared vulnerabilities and migratory roots," Mr Higgins said.
"To those who had the pleasure of knowing him it was a privilege to call Ian Adamson friend."
Yesterday race ace Eddie Irvine's businesswoman sister Sonia added her voice to tributes to Dr Adamson.
Sonia, who runs her Formula One entertainment company Amber Lounge, revealed that the 74-year-old Ulster Unionist politician, author, historian, linguist and paediatrician helped her when she started to train as a physiotherapist.
Sonia said Dr Adamson gave her all his medical books to help reduce her book fees. She recalled him as a friend who spanned four generations of her family.
She added: "He grew up with our father in the little village of Conlig and they remained lifelong friends.
"When Eddie started motor racing Ian was his first sponsor, supporting him with money he didn't necessarily have but his desire to help was foremost and his help was much needed in those early days."
And she revealed that in times of illness Dr Adamson, who was Rev Ian Paisley's personal physician, was always the person that the Irvine family turned to for advice and support.
"We laughed, we cried, we lived our lives as friends should, looking after each other," she said.