Northern Ireland

Hugh McWilliams: Prominent NI businessman dies in road crash

Hugh McWilliams Image copyright Margaret McLaughlin
Image caption Hugh McWilliams, pictured with his wife Anne, was managing director of H&A Mechanical Services

A prominent Northern Ireland businessman has died in a road crash in County Londonderry.

Hugh McWilliams, who was in his 60s, was the driver of the car which crashed on the Five Mile Straight in Draperstown on Friday afternoon.

His company - H&A Mechanical Services - is the main sponsor for both the local GAA club, St Colm's, Ballinascreen, and Derry's county GAA teams.

Derry GAA described him as "a giant of generosity".

In a Facebook tribute, the club said its members were "devastated".

"He was unstinting in his support for county, club and community," the post read.

"The GAA was a way of life for Hugh and his untimely death will be a shock across the county.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne, his family and everyone at the Ballinascreen club at this time."

As a mark of respect, all senior club championship fixtures due to take place in Derry this weekend have been postponed.

'Esteemed friend'

Ballinascreen GAC said it was suspending all club games and activities until further notice.

"Ballinascreen GAC are devastated to learn of the sudden death of our friend, Club Sponsor and esteemed member, Hugh McWilliams," it said in a Facebook post.

"The club executive and all our members extend our deepest sympathy to Hugh's wife Anne, daughter Maureen, son Carlus, son-in-law Brendan, daughter-in-law Maria, grandchildren Ollie, Leo, Lily and Fiadh and the extended family circle," the message said.

A number of other GAA organisations also took to social media to express their sympathies to Mr McWilliams' family.

Police said the incident happened at about 13:10 BST and no other vehicle was involved.