Tributes after Poland's envoy to Northern Ireland Dariusz Adler dies at age 53
Tributes have been paid to the Polish consul general in Northern Ireland, who passed away suddenly at his home in Belfast on Sunday.
Dariusz Adler (53), a father-of-two, only took up his position here in November, just months before the opening of Poland's consulate here.
He had served for the previous four years as consul general in Scotland, when he also had responsibility for Northern Ireland.
Mr Adler, a native of Warsaw, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 and worked initially on Poland's relationship with Nato.
His first posting as a career diplomat was in Chicago, after which he returned to Poland in 2006 to the Department of Consular and Polonia Affairs.
Jerome Mullen, honorary consul in the Republic of Poland, described Mr Adler as a "man of great energy".
He said: "I have had the personal honour and privilege to have worked with Dariusz Adler over the past five years.
"He was a man of great energy and compassion and I regard my years working alongside him as a real joy and I will miss him greatly."
SDLP MLA John Dallat also paid tribute to Mr Adler.
He said: "I am devastated to learn of the sudden death of the recently appointed Polish consul general to Northern Ireland Dariusz Adler, who passed away at his home in Belfast.
"I met him a few times and admired him greatly.
"He was a very kind person, inspirational, a brilliant consul general and a loss not just to the Polish community, but to all of us.
"He came to Kilrea and visited St Columba's Primary School in January, his first official engagement as consul general, where he met the local Polish children and their parents. I am greatly saddened by his death because I believed he had an awful lot to offer Northern Ireland in general. Poland isn't just about migrant workers, it is about goods and services and he was a key players in that.
"He clearly loved the Polish community here and this will be a huge loss to them.
"My deepest sympathy to his family, the Polish Government and especially to the Polish community in Kilrea."
Mr Adler witnessed some of his country's most turbulent post-war times. He was born during the Communist regime and was a university student at the time Lech Walesa led the Solidarity movement which eventually saw the restoration of democracy in the country and, for the first time in modern history, free elections for the people.
By this time Mr Adler had taken up a role at the Polish embassy in the United States.
He was most proud of his work over the past four years for Polish people who had made Scotland and Northern Ireland their home.
Requiem Mass for Mr Adler will be said in St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast, on Friday.
His remains will be repatriated to his homeland.