Northern Ireland news

Tributes as former UUP MLA Robert Coulter dies aged 88

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann with the late Rev Dr Robert Coulter

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Ulster Unionist Party MLA who has died aged 88.

Rev Dr Robert Coulter, who died on Wednesday evening, was a UUP assembly member for North Antrim from 1998 until his retirement in 2011.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said: "Bob was a stalwart of Ulster Unionism in North Antrim and personally to me he was also a mentor and a friend.

"Bob had a long record of public service, during his time on Ballymena Borough Council – where he served as mayor – and then when he was elected to the assembly in 1998 until he retired in 2011.

"He was passionate about education and particularly for children with special educational needs. This was reflected in his role as a key advocate for the recently opened new build for Castle Tower School where he was chair of the board of governors.

"Following in his footsteps in North Antrim, I was always aware of the high bar that had been set by him.

"I send my condolences to his wife Elizabeth, son John and daughter Liz. They are a close family and my thoughts are with them at this sad time."

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