Northern Ireland news

Former SDLP councillor described as 'fierce community activist'

Former SDLP councillor Rosaleen Hughes, who passed away on Tuesday, has been described as a `fierce community activist'
Marie Louise McConville

A former SDLP councillor who was one of the first nationalists elected on to the former Castlereagh Borough Council will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Rosaleen Hughes, who passed away peacefully at her home in Belfast on Tuesday, made history in 1997 when she won a seat on the council, alongside SDLP colleague, Dougie Hegney.

During her time on the council, Ms Hughes sat on the planning and central services committee and was also involved with the Castlereagh Arts forum and the Inter Agency Bonfire Working Group.

In 1999, she was awarded an OBE .

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood yesterday described Ms Hughes, who is believed to have been aged in her eighties, as a "fierce community activist and an outstanding public representative for the SDLP".

"It wasn’t easy being a nationalist councillor on Castlereagh Council in 1997 but together with Dougie Hegney, Rosaleen was a force to be reckoned with," he said.

"I know her wide circle of friends in the party will miss Rosaleen, particularly in south Belfast where she was an active member long after taking a step back from front line politics. Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this difficult time".

Requiem Mass for Rosaleen Hughes will take place today at 10am at St Malachy's Church on Alfred Street.

Her remains will then be taken to St Mary's Church, Berrings, in Co Cork, where they will repose overnight.

A second Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow (SAT) at 11.30am.

Burial will take place afterwards at St Senan Tower Cemetery in Inniscarra, Co Cork.

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