A Special Meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has been held to mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Opening the meeting on Monday, 12 September, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said the meeting was an opportunity to pay tribute to Her Majesty and express condolences to the Royal Family.
“It is with great sadness that we gather today to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II,” said Councillor Savage. “The reaction to her passing both locally, nationally and internationally is a testament to the huge respect in which she was held not only across these islands but across the world.
“No matter your political background or your views on the monarchy, very few people would contest Her Late Majesty’s dedication, devotion and selfless sense of duty that she demonstrated throughout her long 70-year reign.
“Across this chamber we have mix of different voices and perspectives but this evening I want to specifically recognize the deep sense of loss felt by those members, and the communities they represent, who are from the British Tradition on the passing of Her Late Majesty. They have lost a woman of immense integrity, sense of duty and affection for her people. A woman of presence and stability, their rock, who also had a sense of humour and a love for horse racing. She has been their constant and their monarch and I offer my deepest condolences to you and to the Royal Family at this difficult and sad time; a time that not only marks the passing of Her Late Majesty, but also marks the end of an era and a link to post war life, and also decades of admiration and love from the Unionist Community across Newry, Mourne and Down.
“That admiration is also deeply felt by citizens across our district who are from the Irish Tradition and other traditions. Her Late Majesty’s ability to understand the complexities of Northern Ireland and demonstrate her desire to do all in her power to assist in the Peace Process is something I as a Nationalist politician, and many from my community, recognise and respect.
“Her late Majesty’s desire to reach out the hand of friendship and partnership to build stronger relationships east and west on these islands and her memorable words as gaeilge on her visit to Dublin, along with her visit to the Garden of Remembrance, are a reflection of her role not only as a monarch but as a peacemaker and earned her huge respect with the Irish people. On behalf of the citizens of Newry Mourne and Down District I offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this very difficult time.”
Party leaders Cllr David Taylor (UUP), Cllr Glyn Hanna (DUP), Cllr Gareth Sharvin (SDLP), Cllr Harold McKee (TUV), Andrew McMurray (Alliance) and Cllr Barra Ó Muirí (Sinn Féin) also marked the Queen’s death with their own condolences and tributes.
Following the death of her Majesty the Queen, Council Chairperson Cllr Michael Savage opened Books of Condolence across the district for residents. Books of Condolence are located at the Council’s Headquarters at the Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick and O’Hagan House, Monaghan Row, Newry.
They are also available at Ballynahinch Community Centre, Bessbrook Community Centre, Bridge Centre, Killyleagh, Castlewellan Community Centre, Crossmaglen Community Centre, Down Arts Centre, Kilkeel Leisure Centre, Newcastle Bowling Pavilion, Newry Leisure Centre, Newry Town Hall, and Warrenpoint Town Hall. The books will be available for signing during normal opening hours.
An online Book of Condolence is also available for signing at: www.newrymournedown.org/chairpersons-book-of-condolences.