Lives Remembered

James Brown: Independent unionist voice for Carrickfergus

James Brown was an independent member of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

JIM Brown was a strongly independent voice for Carrickfergus in council chambers for almost four decades.

The five-times mayor of Carrick, who died aged 68 on August 7, was a member of the UUP before leaving the party in the 1990s.

Among projects he championed in the Co Antrim town was transforming its old commercial port into a marina and residential development.

After the dissolution of Carrickfergus's council in 2015, he sat on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council as an independent representative for Carrick Castle.

He said at the time: “There is a saying that the history of Carrick is the history of Ulster writ small. I have seen the rich tapestry of life through Carrickfergus Borough Council and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said he first met Jimmy in Carrickfergus Technical College in the 1960s.

"I joined the council four years before him in 1977, and we often worked together in a pragmatic way to benefit our constituents.

“He spent the latter part of his life in politics and had a solid base of supporters that always ensured he was elected to council for a lengthy, continuous spell over the course of various elections.

"We did not always see eye-to-eye politically on many issues, but I can honestly say he had the interests of the borough of Carrickfergus at heart."

A former shopkeeper and chair of the Northern Ireland Housing Council, Mr Brown was awarded an MBE for services to local government in 2014.

His council robe and hat were placed on his coffin at his funeral.

James Brown is survived by his wife Esther and daughters Alison and Louise.

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Lives Remembered