Northern Ireland news

Arlene Foster leads tributes to 'gentleman' photographer John Kelly

Photographer John Kelly, who died at the weekend
Gareth McKeown

THE leader of the DUP has led the tributes to Lisburn-based photographer John Kelly, who died at the weekend.

Mr Kelly, who took photographs for various media outlets across the north, passed away peacefully at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday after a period of illness. He was 71.

The well-known photographer and Ulster-Scots champion was hailed as a "real character", who was never without a camera by DUP leader, Arlene Foster.

"He will be missed by the Ulster Scots community and all who knew him," she wrote in a Twitter post.

UUP leader, Robin Swann said piping and photography has lost a "great champion".

Former Belfast Lord Mayor, Brian Kingston also paid tribute to a "gentleman".

"It was always a pleasure to meet him at events taking quality photographs. With deepest sympathy to his family," he said in an online post.

In addition to his work for media outlets, Mr Kelly took photographs for church organisations, pipe bands, the Orange Order and the Boys’ Brigade among others. He was also the event photographer for the Belfast International Tattoo.

A representative for the Belfast International Tattoo said Mr Kelly's death was "devastating news".

"John has captured the images of the Tattoo from it began and always ensured our pictures were spread across as many newspapers as he could possibly persuade to print them and most did," they said.

"We at the Tattoo office will miss him dearly for the effort he made on our behalf, and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family at this time. It was an honour to have known and worked with him."

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