Tributes to businessman John Mulholland following cancer battle
A Co Antrim businessman who passed away following a battle with cancer has been described as a "hero" by his family.
John Mulholland (55) died at his home on Saturday morning, 14 months after being diagnosed with kidney cancer.
The father-of-four, who was originally from north Belfast, founded what is now a multi-million pound car dealership, John Mulholland Motors, in Randalstown more than three decades ago.
Following his diagnosis, 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.
Speaking to The Irish News, his daughter Shona (28) described him as a "one in a trillion dad".
"Anything dad approached in life, he never expected to be defeated and genuinely we never expected this, we always thought he would get better," she said.
"We have been inundated with calls and texts over the past 24 hours from the nurses and doctors who cared for him - they all said they had never seen such a fighter.
John Gerard Mulholland 1964 - 2019 He turned his matchbox cars into a real life, award winning, thriving car showroom,...Posted by John Mulholland Motor Group on Sunday, August 18, 2019
"For us, he was one in a trillion dad. He was our hero. He lived his life to the max and fitted more in his 55 years than most people could fit in 555.
"He approached everything in life with love and passion, be it his beloved dogs, horses and alpacas, rallying or simply teaching us how to tie a windsor knot for school.
"But he also taught us to always support those who support you which is why he got involved with Friends of the Cancer Centre after his first appointment with them.
"We cannot thank them enough for the dignity and care they provided dad and us towards the end. We felt like we had their arms around us the whole time and they fully understand dad's wish to come home and moved mountains for him to be able to do that."
In a post on Facebook, a spokesperson for John Mulholland Motor Group described Mr Mulholland as a "gentleman" who applied "perfectionism and professionalism" to everything he did.
"If you ever had the pleasure of meeting John, you will know the impact he left on you and the room. His energy was infectious and his passion and charisma for what he did will remain infamous. The self-marketing campaigns will go down as the best in history," he said.
"John prided himself on treating every customer like a member of his own family, going the extra mile to make buying a car a memorable, joyful time. There was no greater compliment to John, than a customer returning for their next car choice or referring a friend.
"He thrived on bringing the best out in people, always rooting for the underdog and developing people to be the best versions of themselves."
Mr Mulholland is survived by his wife Alicia, daughters Alicia, Shona and Anna, and son Johnnie.
Belfast Telegraph Digital