Tributes paid after death of former DUP MLA Gordon Dunne
Outgoing DUP leader Edwin Poots has described the death of party colleague and former MLA Gordon Dunne as a “huge shock”.
Mr Dunne, 62, who had recently stood down from his position as an MLA for North Down, died at the weekend.
He had served as a councillor for decades before he was elected to the Assembly in 2011.
Mr Poots said party colleagues had known that Mr Dunne had been facing serious challenges as he battled illness.
He added: “However, the news of his passing is a huge shock to us all.
“Gordon’s good humour and positive attitude were a shining example to us all and he will be sorely missed by everyone associated with the DUP
“Gordon was more than a colleague, he was a friend.”
Mr Poots continued: “My thoughts are with the Dunne family as they grieve at this time. I hope they can find some comfort in the many tributes that will be paid to someone who was always so willing to help others through his long career as a public representative.
“Gordon’s faith, his family and a passion for motorsport were important to him. His friendly disposition, honest character and hard-working nature made him a very special person. His Christian character shone through in everything he done.”
Party chairman Lord Morrow said: “Gordon was a committed unionist and dedicated public representative and his loss will be keenly felt by people from across Northern Ireland.
“I counted Gordon as both a colleague and friend over many decades and my prayers are with the Dunne family at this time.
“The tributes paid from across the political spectrum when Gordon stepped down from public life were testament to the esteem Gordon was held in by all those he worked with.
“As a party and a country we are much poorer for the loss of someone like Gordon Dunne.”
Former DUP leader and ex-first minister Arlene Foster tweeted: “This is such terribly sad news. Someone who always put his constituents first and was a great public servant.
“My deepest sympathy to his wife and children at this awful time for the family. He will be sorely missed.”
Sinn Fein Finance Minister Conor Murphy told the BBC: “I worked with Gordon. I chaired the Economy Committee for a time in 2016/17 and Gordon was a member of the committee, I have to say I was very fond of him.
“He was a very decent man, very constructive in the work he did in the committee. He was a very long-serving member of the Economy Committee.
“I was saddened to hear that he had retired due to ill health and I, like others, was shocked at the suddenness of his passing and I wish to offer my sympathy to his family and to his party colleagues as well.”
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