Members of Coleraine Borough Council stood for a minute’s silence before the start of the Council meeting at Cloonavin last Wednesday night to remember their former colleague David McClarty.
David’s political career began in 1989 when he was first elected to Coleraine Borough Council. From 1993 to 1995, Councillor McClarty served as a very popular Mayor, and in May 2011 he was reelected for a 6th term in office.
Leading the tributes, Mayor of Coleraine, UUP councillor David Harding told those present that David had been ‘a significant member of this community for many years’.
Paying tribute to the MLA, the Mayor said that ‘David was a man of killowen, and a man of Coleraine who kept close to his roots.’
Councillor Harding said that he was ‘grateful’ to David for his advice and added that it was ‘uplifting’ to see how he had approached his illness.
Describing David McClarty’s funeral as a ‘significant gathering’ the Mayor said: “it was a memorable event, not just for the numbers there, but for the range of people there, people that David helped.”
UUP councillor William McCandless said that the citizens of the borough had ‘lost the boy from Killowen, who was well respected on all sides of the community’.
Quoting from Shakespeare’s ‘As you like it’, Alliance councillor, Yvonne Boyle said: ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.’
Speaking on behalf of the DUP grouping, Alderman James McClure said that David McClarty was ‘a man of the people, and a man for the people.’
SDLP Alderman Maura Hickey said that she was ‘proud’ to be at David’s funeral. She added: “It was lovely to see how many people were proud of a politician, it shows that there is decency in politics, and David did that. He was the boy from Killowen who became the man from Killowen.”