Former Ulster and Ireland rugby player David Tweed dies in motorbike crash

Former Ulster and Ireland rugby international and Ballymena councillor David Tweed has died in a road crash in Co Antrim.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 2:10 pm
David Tweed played for Ulster and also was capped four times for Ireland

The crash happened on Whitepark Road close to Dunseverick yesterday around 4.30pm.

Mr Tweed, who was riding a motorbike, is understood to have died at the scene.

The Co Antrim man played for Ulster and won four Ireland caps, making his debut against France in the 1995 Five Nations.

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Former Ulster and Irish Rugby International David Tweed. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

He later served as a councillor in Ballymena for the DUP and TUV.

In 2016, Mr Tweed, a member of the Orange Order, had his convictions for child sex abuse quashed by the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

He was then released from custody where he had been serving an eight-year sentence.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said: “The one time leading Ulster and Ireland rugby star, political activist, elected official and leading Orangeman David was a well-known Ulsterman.

DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley is congratulated on winning his North Antrim in 2012 seat by David Tweed, who served as both a DUP and TUV councillor on Ballymena Council. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

“To his family I send my condolences and heartfelt prayers at what must be an unimaginably heartbreaking time for them. I pray God will comfort them and give them peace at their point of need.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “Davy, a larger than life character, was widely known across North Antrim and further afield. His family is deeply rooted and respected in the Ballymoney/Dunloy community.

“This is a devastating blow to his family and wide circle of friends. I wish to express my deepest sympathy to his grieving family at this very difficult time.”

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said: “I have known Davy and his family most of my life and cannot begin to imagine the sorrow his family have been plunged into.

“Just on Sunday past he sat in front of me in church. He was a larger-than-life character, not just only in his physical presence.”

Causeway Coast and Glens councillor and fellow Orangeman John Finlay said: “Very sad to learn of the death of my good friend and Brother David Tweed.

“I have known Davy all my life and I am just devastated by the news of his passing. We in Dunloy will be much poorer for his passing. The family are in my prayers.”

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