Funeral for unionist MLA McClarty

Funeral for unionist MLA McClarty

The funeral of the independent unionist David McClarty has taken place in his home town of Coleraine.

The East Londonderry MLA passed away on Friday at the age of 63 following a battle against cancer.He was elected as an MLA for the Ulster Unionist Party in 1998 and had served as a deputy speaker in the Assembly between 2007 and 2011.Previously he had served on Coleraine Borough Council.However, after his local association deselected him in 2011, he quit the party and won the subsequent election as an independent.Following his death, Ulster Unionist Party Chairman, Lord Empey described Mr McClarty as "a real gentleman in politics"."He managed to combine sincere beliefs with a great sense of humour and was slow to make political enemies, which says a lot about him."David is a great loss to Northern Ireland politics," Lord Empey said.The First and deputy First Minsters also paid tribute to the popular politician.DUP leader Peter Robinson said his passing was a "huge loss to politics".And Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness described Mr McClarty as a "gentleman".The service of thanksgiving was held at Killowen Parish Church in Coleraine on Tuesday followed by burial in Portstewart cemetery.

© UTV

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