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Tributes to former SDLP councillor who was 'one of the most dedicated public servants'

Mervyn Storey pictured with Harry Connolly when he was Deputy Mayor of Ballymoney at an event to mark the work of Ballymoney Council before it ceased to operate in 2015.

A FORMER SDLP councillor has been described as "one of the most dedicated public servants" following his death.

Harry Connolly from Armoy, who was involved in politics for more than 40 years, passed away on Thursday. He was in his eighties.

He was among the longest serving councillors on Ballymoney council before it ceased operation in 2015 and was its final deputy mayor.

SDLP MLA John Dallat said Mr Connolly "leaves behind a legacy of hard work for which he was highly respected".

"By example, he set very high standards for elected representatives to follow and his passing will be regretted by the whole community who regarded him as a common-sense councillor that anyone could go to for help irrespective of their politics or other affiliations," he said.

"We in the SDLP were very proud of Harry who carried out his duties in some of the most dangerous and turbulent times in the north Antrim area and we remember him with great pride as one of the best."

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said Mr Connolly was "in every sense of the word a gentleman".

"Harry was amongst the longest serving councillors on Ballymoney council before it ceased operation in 2015. He had been on the rural council before the reorganisation of local government in 1973," he said.

"He was one of the most dedicated public servants that I have had the privilege to meet.

"While others talk about what they would do Harry just go on with it and got the job done. He was a diligent and hard working councillor."

Mr Connolly is survived by his wife Philomena and children Martin and Helena.

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