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Last mayor of Castlereagh and DeLorean test driver Beattie dies


By Alf McCreary

The last mayor of Castlereagh has died in hospital at the age of 76.

Jack Beattie MBE was the DUP mayor for a second time in 2014-2015 before it was amalgamated with Lisburn as part of local authority reforms.

He was also mayor from 1988-1999 as an independent councillor, and his widow Ann-Marie was mayor from 2008-9.

Jack Beattie was born in 1941 and brought up in the Shankill Road, Belfast. He was one of four children, and the son of an ironmonger.

He attended St Mary's Primary School, and became a cabinet-maker with Hoys in Northumberland Street. He was later manager of a kitchen installation company in Belfast, and was an engineering supervisor with Tilley Lamps in Derriaghy.He worked with Matbro Forklift Trucks in the Seventies, and later with the DeLorean Car Company in Dunmurry as a finishing inspector.

He was one of the few people to hold a licence to take the car on the test track. He also had licences to drive the DeLorean on the open road.

Mr Beattie had degrees in human resources and finance, and ran his own business. He trained young people in manufacturing, and later in general work preparation. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Mr Beattie was a member of the Unionist Party. He was election agent for John Taylor, Lord Kilclooney, but was expelled from the party for his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement.

His son, photographer Doug Beattie, said: "He believed that the Agreement was not strong enough to deal with the victims of violence as well as legacy issues, and that this would come back to haunt those who signed up. Some 20 years later it would appear that he was right."

"My father made his own way in life before he became involved in politics.

"He was very able, and would have gone far at a higher level.

"However, he stayed in local politics to serve the community. The number of people from all sides who have paid tribute to him is a measure of what he has achieved," his son added.

Mr Beattie was made an MBE for his services to the community. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and regularly attended the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TTs. In the Sixties, he rode a Ducati in the Skerries road race.

Mr Beattie was a member for 40 years of Carryduff Presbyterian Church, where a thanksgiving service will be held at 2.30pm tomorrow.

He is survived by his widow Ann-Marie, and sons John, Robert and Douglas.

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