Former SDLP MLA PJ Bradley dies after short illness
FORMER SDLP South Down MLA PJ Bradley has died.
Mr Bradley was an MLA from 1998 until 2011 and had previously served on Newry and Mourne District council.
He died following a short illness.
Members of the SDLP have been paying tribute to the veteran politician.
Deepest sympathies 2 Sinead & Bradley family on the passing of her father PJ who was a former fellow MLA with me in SD. Political stalwart.— Margaret Ritchie MP (@MRitchieMP) March 1, 2017
Party leasder Colum Eastwood said: “It is with the deepest sadness that I learned of the death of our friend and colleague PJ Bradley this morning.
“Politics was in PJ’s blood. A fierce advocate for his local community in Burren and for all communities across South Down, his compassionate and considered way will be deeply missed by all who knew him. PJ’s contribution to Ireland and his life long work across the island to develop and support the peace process distinguishes him as a patriot."
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said: "PJ was a man of considerable political fortitude and a stalwart who firmly believed in grassroots politics and in working directly with and for his community in Burren and Ballyholland.
"He was a stout defender of all the people in South Down - right across the community.
"The Bradley family, Burren and Ballyholland have lost a true father and a strong Gael. May PJ rest in peace."
Former SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said: "Sad on hearing of the death of friend and colleague PJ Bradley... May he rest in peace."
The DUP's Jim Wells also paid tribute, saying: "I clashed with PJ many times in the local press but we remained friends throughout it all. Thoughts with Sinead during such a difficult time."
Mr Bradley's daughter Sinead was elected as an MLA in South Down last year and is standing in tomorrow's poll.