Tributes for Alliance councillor Barney Fitzpatrick who 'worked to unite community'
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has paid tribute to Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Barney Fitzpatrick, who has passed away.
Mr Fitzpatrick died in hospital on Saturday.
Born in west Belfast, he was first elected to the previous Coleraine Borough Council in 2006. It followed 40 years in the police, reaching the rank of chief superintendent and receiving the Queen's police medal for services to the public.
Mr Fitzpatrick is survived by wife Theresa and four children.
Mrs Long extended her deepest sympathies to his family circle on behalf of Alliance.
"Barney served the local community all his life, first as a police officer and latterly as a local councillor. Even over recent months in failing health, he continued to faithfully and diligently undertake his public duties at the council," she said.
"He was a man of deep religious faith, who believed passionately in reconciliation and in healing the divisions in our community. Always gracious and generous in his dealings with others, he will be greatly missed by us in the Alliance Party and by those with whom and for whom he worked on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council."
Chris McCaw, chair of Alliance's East Londonderry Association, said: "Barney was someone who lived the values of Alliance. He was born in west Belfast and served in the police for over 40 years. He was wounded in the line of duty and yet chose to work for a united community in Northern Ireland, to bring divided communities together," he said.
SDLP MLA John Dallat said he had the privilege of knowing Mr Fitzpatrick both as a police officer and as a councillor.
"On behalf of the party I extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and family at this very difficult time and wish to put on record his outstanding contribution to society in every role in life he contributed to," he said.