Northern Ireland news

Former Belfast Telegraph managing editor was a 'true professional'

David Neely, a former managing editor of the Belfast Telegraph, died following a short illness at the age of 73

A former managing editor of the Belfast Telegraph has been remembered as a "true professional".

David Neely, who was born in Derry, died following a short illness at the age of 73.

The married father-of-two began his career in journalism at the Coleraine Chronicle before moving to the News Letter and then the Belfast Telegraph.

He became assistant news editor during the Troubles and was later promoted to managing editor, a role which saw him represent the editor and handle legal queries.

Mr Neely was also the motorcycling correspondent and wrote a weekly column on the subject.

A keen cyclist and lover of jazz, he was also a dedicated bird-watcher and horologist.

Martin Lindsay, a former editor of the Belfast Telegraph, described Mr Neely as a "first-rate journalist who entered the profession through traditional roles".

"During those difficult years, to say the least, David played a huge role in ensuring that we delivered the best possible service for our readers at a time when the news landscape was changing almost hour by hour, and sometimes as bombs rocked our Royal Avenue building to its core," he said.

"David was a true professional.

"He always had a 'glass half full approach' to his illness, and he showed a steely determination to get back on his feet and he was determined to return home to his family and friends.

"I am so saddened that he did not get the happy ending that he, and all those who knew and loved him, had so desperately hoped for".

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Northern Ireland news