Hundreds at funeral of car industry giant

The Funeral of John Mulholland takes place at St Oliver Plunkett Church, Toomebridge on Thursday. 'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
The Funeral of John Mulholland takes place at St Oliver Plunkett Church, Toomebridge on Thursday. 'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
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Hundreds of people attended the funeral yesterday of John Mulholland, regarded as a giant of the car industry.

His Requiem Mass took place in St Oliver Plunkett’s Church in Toomebridge, Co Antrim and some of those attending drove rally cars bearing Mr Mulholland’s name.

The 55-year-old businessman lost a 14-month battle with cancer on August 17.

Originally from north Belfast, the founder of the John Mulholland Motor Group was a devoted fan of rallying and motorsport.

The Randalstown businessman operated car dealerships in both his home town and at Campsie in Co Londonderry.

In the horse-drawn hearse which carried Mr Mulholland’s coffin was a wreath which spelt out ‘Keep ‘er lit’.

Following the service in Toome close friends and family attended another service in Belfast at Roselawn Crematorium.

Mr Mulholland is survived by his wife Alicia, children Alicia, Shona, Johnnie and Anna, his father Dermot, twin brother Paul and brother Barry,

Following his cancer 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.

A post on the John Mulholland Motor Group Facebook said the owner had “turned his matchbox cars into a real life,” by creating an “award winning, thriving car showroom, which he filled with love, energy and enthusiasm”.

Robert Harkness, president of The Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd, said: “He was a gentleman, his handshake was all anyone needed.”