A retired brick-laying instructor who lost his life after being hit by a vehicle in Newcastle, Co Down, on Thursday has been described as an upstanding family man with a great sense of humour.
The man, 78-year-old Geoffrey Cartwright, was someone who loved his family deeply, said the deputy mayor of Newry, Mourne and Down, councillor Willie Clarke.
Geoffrey Cartwright was struck by a vehicle while he was walking on the South Promenade in Newcastle shortly before 11pm on Thursday, police have said.
Councillor Clarke of Sinn Fein, a friend of Mr Cartwright’s son, said: “There was always a bit of fun with Geoff, a bit of craic.
“He enjoyed a game of pool, especially with his family. He had a big family with his sons and daughters and a lot of grandchildren as well, and a wide extended family. He was a real family man, he loved his family very much.
“He enjoyed life to the full. He enjoyed getting away on his holidays since he retired.
“He had a boat in the harbour and he used to enjoy that when he was in better health.”
Councillor Clarke said Mr Cartwright spent most of his life working as a brick-laying instructor at Newry Training Centre until his retirement.
He added: “He had a great way with people, he could communicate with anybody, he was that sort of fellow.
“He lost his wife around three years ago and he’s never been the same since that. They were very close.
“He was always fun, a bit of a wind-up. I would have been friendly with his son. I live in the same community and I am devastated by the news here myself and the family are totally devastated.”
Independent unionist councillor Henry Reilly also passed on his condolences.
He described Mr Cartwright as “a decent, upstanding man” who was respected in the local community.
Another to pass on their condolences was the DUP MLA for South Down, Jim Wells, who said it was “a terrible blow” to the family.
Alliance councillor Andrew McMurray said: “Local people will be shocked by this sad tragedy.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “An 18-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit and dangerous driving causing death. He has been released on bail.”
Mr Cartwright’s death brings the number of deaths in road accidents this year in Northern Ireland to 38.