Northern Ireland news

Tributes paid to DUP founding member Charlie Poots

Charlie Poots, the father of DUP minister Edwin Poots who passed away this week.

Tributes have been paid to DUP founding member Charlie Poots, who passed away today.

The father of Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots, the 90-year-old had been receiving treatment at the Ulster Hospital after falling at his home earlier this month.

He was also the grandfather of DUP councillor Caleb McCready.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster said: "Charlie was a founding member of the DUP, standing for election first as a Protestant Unionist in 1969.

"He served in both the Northern Ireland Assembly from 73-74 and the Constitutional Convention from 75-76, but it was in local government where Charlie gave a lifetime of service.

"Charlie’s service to the people of Lisburn was marked in 2009 when he was made a Freeman of the City of Lisburn and his loss will be felt by many people, but particularly in that city and amongst the people to whom he gave such dedicated representation," Mrs Foster said.

"My heartfelt sympathies are with my friend and Executive colleague Edwin and the wider Poots family at this most difficult of times. Having been involved in caring for Charlie over recent years I know how difficult it was not to be close to him as he approached the end of his life.

"The current circumstances make it difficult for us all to express our thoughts directly with those who have lost someone.

"However, I hope they can take some comfort from the very many people who will have been impacted by Charlie’s life and work and who will feel his loss.", she added.

Mr Poots campaigned alongside the Rev Ian Paisley in 1969, and went on to serve on the old Lisburn Borough Council where he spent a term as deputy mayor in 1991/92.

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1973 representing North Down and retained his seat in the Constitutional Convention in 1975, but lost the seat in the 1982 Assembly election.

Jim Donaldson, the father of DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, also passed away earlier this week.

Charlie Poots, was a close friend and colleague of the late Rev Ian Paisley.

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