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Principal who served Derry school for almost 50 years dies

Tony McLaughlin joined Broadbridge PS in Eglinton in 1969

A POPULAR school principal who served the same school for almost five decades has died after a short illness.

Tony McLaughlin, head of Broadbridge PS in Eglinton, Co Derry, died on Sunday aged 70.

The father of five began working at the school on April 1, 1969.

A message on the school website appeared on Sunday and said: "It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of our beloved principal, colleague and friend, Tony. R.I.P."

The Catholic maintained school, which has more than 400 pupils, received the top inspection grade in 2015 and Mr McLaughlin was singled out for praise.

Inspectors found that the senior leadership team had led a sustained and positive school improvement agenda over a significant period of time.

"In this important work, the principal, in particular, promotes a highly effective collegial approach to the work of the school," inspectors said.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) last night paid tribute to Mr McLaughlin.

"It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of an esteemed colleague, Tony McLaughlin. Tony was a contributor in the Catholic maintained sector as a teacher and later as a principal, having been with Broadbridge Primary School since 1969," CCMS said.

"He will be greatly missed, both here at CCMS and by all those who knew him and worked with him in the local community. Tony was a dedicated and respected teacher and principal and a credit to the profession. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and Broadbridge Primary School at this time."

Mr McLaughlin's funeral will leave his from his home, 21 Gleneagles, on Wednesday at 10.10am for 11 o'clock Requiem Mass in Star of the Sea Church, Faughanvale. Burial will take place afterwards in St Mary's Cemetery, Tamnaherin.

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