Northern Ireland

Gordons chemists: Co-founder Neil Gordon dies

Neil Gordon Image copyright Gordons Chemist

A co-founder of Gordons Chemists in Northern Ireland has died.

Neil Gordon, 61, started the independent pharmacy chain in Donaghadee, County Down, 34 years ago, along with his brother, Robert.

By 1996 the pharmacy chain had grown to 11 pharmacies and in 2006 the business expanded into Scotland where there are now nine stores.

Today, the chain has 62 stores and employs approximately 800 people.

Neil Gordon was born on 17 October 1952 in Newry, County Down.

The son of a farmer, and one of five brothers, his interest in pharmacy was sparked at a young age.

He was educated at Newry Model Primary school and Newry Grammar school before studying pharmacy at Bradford University.

After a period of employment that included working in England, Neil established the first Gordons Chemists in Donaghadee in 1980.


He was also a co-founder of the Donaghadee Comunity Workforce, assisting the long-term unemployed back into employment, while engaging in work of community benefit.

He served as an elder at Shore Street Presbyterian Church, Donaghadee and was a trustee of the Lighthouse Trust, a charity serving children with cerebral palsy.

Neil was elected to the executive committee of Belfast city centre management in 2004 and served until his death.

He was elected to the board of the PCC (Pharmaceutical Contractors Committee), the committee responsible for negotiating community pharmacy services with the Department of Health, and served for seven years.

He also served on the board of SOS Bus NI, a charity helping vulnerable people on the streets of Belfast.

In 2013, Neil was awarded a Fellowship of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

Neil passed away on 20 June. He is survived by his mum, Jean, wife, Carol, sons, Ryan and Gareth, and daughter Fiona.

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