Tributes as former RUC George Cross Foundation chair James McDonald dies
The former chairman of the RUC George Cross Foundation, James McDonald, has been praised for the example he set for the entire community following his death.
The Belfast man (81), also known as Jim, passed away yesterday at his family home.
Mr McDonald was born and bred on the Falls Road and was a Northern Irish Catholic Unionist.
He was the beloved husband of the late Deirdre and will be sadly missed by his children Noel and Jeanette.
Among the many accolades he received, Mr McDonald spoke of his pride after being awarded with the Lieutenant of the Royal Victoria Order in 2002.
The honour was bestowed upon Mr McDonald for his 40 years voluntary service with both the Prince's Trust and the Prince's Youth Business Trust.
A retired employee of the Labour Relations Agency and a former independent assessor of military complaints, Mr McDonald said that both his friends and family were "absolutely delighted" to learn of the award.
Mark Lindsay, chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, said the organisation was saddened to hear of the passing of Mr McDonald.
"Jim was supportive of the work that was done by RUC GC officers during difficult and dangerous times. His support for policing was greatly valued and appreciated," he said.
"He performed his role as chair of the RUC GC Foundation with great distinction and we are indebted for the leadership he provided and the example he gave to this entire community.
"Jim will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family and large circle of friends at this time."
Requiem Mass for Mr McDonald will take place on Saturday at noon at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast. His funeral will later take place at Roselawn Crematorium for committal at 2pm. Donations in lieu have been asked to be sent to the Renal Unit of Belfast City Hospital or Marie Curie.