Lives Remembered

Jack Beattie: Former UUP and DUP councillor and last mayor of Castlereagh

Jack Beattie was mayor of Castlereagh Borough Council on two occasions

JACK Beattie earned a small place in history as the last mayor of Castlereagh before the re-organisation of councils in 2015.

His retirement aged 73 was also marked by tributes from across the council chamber, having worked hard for all constituents throughout his journey from an Ulster Unionist to an independent councillor and finally a member of the DUP.

From the Shankill Road in west Belfast, he had an equally eventful working life.

Having started out as a cabinet maker, he managed a kitchen installation company and had engineering roles with Tilley Lamps and Matbro Forklift Trucks before joining the DeLorean car company in Dunmurry.

Jack had loved motorcycles and all things mechanical from a young age, riding in the Skerries road race in the 1960s.

He was employed in a special unit which gave the final sign-off to the gull-winged sports cars, a role which gave him use of the factory's famed test track. He also had licenses to drive the DeLorean on the open road, although he never actually owned one.

The company collapsed despite his efforts but he later ran his own business and enjoyed passing on his skills to young people and was a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Jack entered politics in the 1980s and was an election agent for John Taylor, but was among the first UUP representatives to leave the party after the Good Friday Agreement, which he believed had failed victims of violence.

He served his first term as Castlereagh mayor as an independent in 1998 before joining the ranks of the DUP under Peter Robinson.

His wife of 52 years Ann-Marie was also a DUP councillor and was mayor in 2008/09.

She said he worked hard for everyone in the borough, from running youth clubs to helping businesses and local schools.

"He didn't care what you were, if you were in trouble then he would have helped you and often no-one would have known anything about it," she said.

"The wide range of people at his funeral was testament to the number of lives he touched."

Jack Beattie, who was made an MBE for services to the community, died aged 76 on February 25. A thanksgiving service was held at Carryduff Presbyterian Church where he was a member for 40 years.

He is survived by his widow Ann-Marie, sons John, Robert and Douglas and family circle.

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Lives Remembered