Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway golf resort businessman Alistair Hanna dies

Dr Alistair Hanna
Image caption Dr Alistair Hanna's wife, Nancy, said the golf resort was 'the culmination of a life's dreams'

The Belfast-born businessman behind the controversial £100m Bushmills Dunes golf resort near the Giant's Causeway has died.

Dr Alistair Hanna was 69 and had battled cancer for four years.

He was based in the US for more than 40 years, mostly as an executive in the management consultancy firm McKinsey.

Project architect Richard Hunter said: "Work on the course is due to begin later this year, and it is a tragedy that Ali did not live to see it."

His plan for the golf course was fought in the High Court in a case brought by the National Trust.

Image caption An impression of what the proposed new hotel will look like at Runkerry

It objected on grounds it was too close to the Giant's Causeway, a Unesco world heritage site.

But the Stormont environment minister at the time, Alex Attwood, granted planning permission to the resort in February 2012.

The development, on a 365-acre site, includes a championship course, a five-star hotel and 70 lodges.

His wife Nancy said: "The Bushmills complex was the culmination of a life's dreams, combining Ali's passion for golf and Northern Ireland."

More on this story