Husband of Ballintoy councillor killed in tractor accident

Former Banbridge councillor John Hanna who died in a road traffic collision in Ballintoy. inbm27-15
Former Banbridge councillor John Hanna who died in a road traffic collision in Ballintoy. inbm27-15
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A former Ulster Unionist councillor has been killed in a tractor accident in Ballintoy.

John Hanna, who was 66, died when his tractor crashed at Ballinlea Road, Ballintoy, at about 3.45pm on Monday afternoon.

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Police have said no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Mr Hanna was a councillor with Banbridge District Council. He retired earlier this year.

His wife, Joan Baird, is a councillor in the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council, representing the Glens electoral area.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt paid tribute to Mr Hanna.

“John Hanna was an exemplary public servant who always sought to put the needs of his constituents ahead of his own,” Mr Nesbitt said.

“John remained grounded in his community for whom he secured many significant funding opportunities to improve facilities and resources right across the area. I have no doubt that he will be fondly remembered for this for many years to come.”

DUP North Antrim assembly member Mervyn Storey said Mr Hanna’s death came as “huge shock”.

“As an elected representative he was well known for his dedication to others and was respected across the political divide,” he said.

Causeway Coast & Glens Independent Councillor Padraig McShane expressed his condolences to his colleague Councillor Baird on the loss of her husband.

Councillor McShane said Mr Hanna was a “larger than life character”.

“I recently met John at the Ballintoy vintage tractor rally where he sailed through the village saluting all the onlookers with an endearing and jovial style that was unique to himself.

“On behalf of my friends and colleagues I would extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to Councillor Baird and the Hanna family at this deeply traumatic time.”