Tributes paid following death of former Newtownabbey Mayor, Cllr Paul Hamill

Poignant tributes have been paid tonight (Tuesday) following the passing of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor, Paul Hamill.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 9:32 pm
Cllr Paul Hamill.

The DUP representative, who served as Mayor of the local authority for the 2017/2018 term, was elected to serve the Macedon DEA in 2014.

Leading the tributes, Mayor, Cllr Billy Webb MBE JP said: “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of our colleague, Cllr Paul Hamill who sadly lost his battle with Covid. He was 46 years old.

“As first citizen of the borough and on behalf of all of his Council colleagues, I would like to pass on our prayers and deepest condolences to his wife Ruth, daughters Grace and Sarah, sister Wendy, mother Ann, and to his wider family circle and friends.

“Paul was first and foremost a family man as husband, father, son and brother. His love for community led him to enter politics and he was elected in 2014 to serve the community of Macedon, alongside me, to the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. Many of us counted on him as a friend regardless of party affiliation, he treated everyone with great kindness, and will be greatly missed.

“Serving his community in the Macedon DEA, Paul was nominated as first citizen in the role of Mayor from June 2017 to May 2018. As Mayor and with his family beside him, Paul faithfully carried out his duties at hundreds of engagements in every area of the borough with great dignity and pride. I know first-hand how much his work as Mayor was appreciated by everyone he met.”

Cllr Webb added: “Cllr Hamill attended Abbots Cross Primary School, then Rathcoole Secondary School before serving his apprenticeship in Shorts Bombardier where he went on to become a Senior Weights Engineer.

“A lifelong member of the Boys’ Brigade, Cllr Hamill served with me as a governor of Newtownabbey Community High School and then as a member of the Board of Governors of Abbey Community College. Prior to being elected, Cllr Hamill worked for 11 years as a Missionary in Rathcoole for Belfast City Mission and through his missionary work supported not only those in his community, but many overseas projects.

“I will be opening a virtual book of condolence tomorrow (Wednesday, September 15) and would invite everyone who knew Paul to leave a message paying tribute to his memory and many accomplishments.”

Expressing condolences, DUP Group Leader on council, Ald Phillip Brett said: “We are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Cllr Paul Hamill.

“Paul had the unique ability to bring out the best in everyone. We will miss that infectious smile.

“Tonight we hold his family in our hearts.”

Macedon UUP Cllr Robert Foster said: “My deepest condolences to Ruth Hamill and family on the untimely passing of Cllr Paul Hamill. My heart is heavy once more.

“I’ve known Paul since our days in Shorts Bombardier and he will be greatly missed by his constituents and all who knew him.

“Keep his family in your prayers. Rest easy, Paco.”

Posting on social media, East Antrim DUP MLA David Hilditch said: “So sorry and very sad to learn of Paul’s passing.️ God Bless.”

Glengormley Alliance representative, Ald Julian McGrath paid tribute on Facebook, stating: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of fellow ANBC councillor, Paul Hamill, today. A truly nice, genuine guy. Thoughts with his young family, friends and colleagues.”

SDLP Cllr Noreen McClelland said: “Such sad news this evening. It’s hard to believe that Paul Hamill has passed away, he will be so sadly missed.

“Paul was a fellow councillor, a friend, a family man and a very gentle person. He worked for everyone and was very highly thought of. Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with Ruth, the girls, his colleagues and friends. Rest in Peace Paul.”

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