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Warm tributes after Carrickfergus mayor Charles Johnston loses long fight against illness

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Popular: Charles Johnston

Popular: Charles Johnston

Popular: Charles Johnston

The mayor of Carrickfergus died last night after a long battle with illness.

DUP alderman Charles Johnston, who was also a freeman of the borough, passed away in hospital. He was 64.

His party colleague, MLA David Hilditch, led tributes to the father-of-two last night.

Mr Hilditch said: "It's a very sad day for the borough, which Charlie loyally served for many years.

"As well as a councillor, he was active in a wide range of organisations including the Orange (Order) and with Carrick Rangers. My thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."

Mr Johnston was also closely associated with Greenisland Primary School, having served as chair of the school's board of governors. He was also the secretary of Carrick Rangers Football Club.

The team brought their Steel and Sons trophy to his hospital bed hours after their cup final victory on Christmas Day.

The club last night said: "We are devastated to announce that our friend, supporter and secretary Charles Johnston has passed away this evening.

"Charlie was dearly loved at Taylor's Avenue and our thoughts are with his family circle.

"You will forever be in the Amber Army."

Mr Johnston is survived by wife Patricia, son Samuel and daughter Charlene.

Belfast Telegraph