MLAs pay tribute to their late colleague, David McClarty


MLAs paid tribute to their late colleague, David McClarty, on 28 April 2014.

Speaker William Hay said Mr McClarty, who died on 18 April, was a gentleman and "a true parliamentarian".

The East Londonderry MLA left the Ulster Unionist Party in 2011 after being deselected as a candidate for that year's assembly election.

He was subsequently re-elected as an independent unionist.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt paid tribute to "a positive, a progressive politician".

Referring to his deselection, Mr Nesbitt said "what happened to David McClarty then should not have happened".

"To his family and his friends who were so badly hurt by those events. I'm glad to take this opportunity to publicly say sorry," he added.

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said many people had told him Mr McClarty was "a very difficult man to dislike".

He said MLAs would miss "the wit, the humour, the charm of David McClarty".

Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein said Mr McClarty was was loved for his "very progressive and good-hearted spirit" and was "highly respectful of all traditions within this society".

SDLP party leader Alasdair McDonnell said Mr McClarty was "not tribal. He was always reaching out".

David Ford, the Alliance leader, expressed his party colleagues' sympathy to the McClarty family and noted "the immense turnout at the funeral".

Basil McCrea of NI21 said David McClarty was "a man of the people" and that "during his life he made a difference to a lot of people".

TUV leader Jim Allister said Mr McClarty was "a gentleman of politics, but no pushover" who was held in affection by other members.

Green MLA Steven Agnew said Mr McClarty was clearly highly-regarded in his constituency.

Referring to the part of the Assembly chamber occupied by the smaller parties and independents, Mr Agnew said;

"He was a good boy in what has become the 'naughty corner' of this assembly".

David McNarry of UKIP also paid tribute to his former UUP colleague. He recalled how Mr McClarty had taunted him every Monday morning "about his beloved Manchester United".

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