Northern Ireland

Tributes to former Q Radio presenter who died weeks after kidney transplant

Denis McNeill
Denis McNeill Denis McNeill

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former teacher and Q Radio presenter who has died after receiving a kidney transplant last month.

Denis McNeill died suddenly at his home in Coleraine on Monday, with a family notice describing him as a devoted grandfather who is survived by his wife Helen and four children.

In January, Mr McNeill had told healthcare workers in Belfast City Hospital he was "delightful and grateful beyond words" after undergoing a successful kidney transplant.

Former colleagues paying their respects included BBC Radio Foyle journalist David Hunter.

"He was a former teacher who received a kidney transplant just a few weeks ago and was released from hospital just last week. We’d been talking about doing an interview of his experience after a long wait," he said.

Q Radio journalist Hannah Spratt wrote: "Such sad and shocking news to hear about the passing of Denis, he was absolutely fantastic to work with on the radio over the years."

Following his own transplant experience, Mr McNeill had been a vocal supporter in recent weeks of Dáithí's law.

Inspired by a six-year-old Dáithí MacGabhan's wait for a heart transplant, the Stormont impasse has stalled progress on a law which would introduce an opt-out system for organ donation.

Sharing his support for the family, Mr McNeill said on Twitter: "That child shows more courage and strength than all the refusing MLAs put together. Stay strong mum and dad, and Dáithí."

Funeral details have yet to be announced with family flowers requested only and any donations made payable to NI Kidney Research.