Council tributes to Prince Philip
Members of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council paid tribute to His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh following his passing at the age of 99.
Mayor Mark Fielding who called the special council meeting, got proceedings underway saying: “Prince Phillip was a husband for 73 years of those 99 to Her Majesty The Queen and as the longest serving Consort in British history, supported Her Majesty in her royal duties with unfailing service and dedication.
“Prince Phillip will be sorely missed across the generations. He had a distinguished naval career serving in the Second World War and was also a keen conservationist and environmentalist and this was evident on his visits to a number of countries across the world.” Cllr Fielding then recalled several meetings with Prince Phillip.
He said: “Prince Phillip had a unique charm and was known for his sharp wit and humour. When I met him during Her Majesty’s visit to Coleraine in 2014, I will never forget his amusing replies, particularly to councillors that day. Also when he returned with Her Majesty in 2016 when I met him at Royal Portrush Golf Club. On both occasions his humour and infectious smile throughout was evident to all who met him. “His loss is being mourned across our community, our nation, the Commonwealth and beyond. His dedication will be an inspiration to us all. And to Her Majesty, may she draw comfort in her steadfast Christian faith.”
The party group leaders took it in turn to speak, with DUP Councillor Aaron Callan offering a message of condolence to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal family. He said; “In the history of our nation and the Commonwealth we have lost a remarkable man, someone who above all gave his life to duty and the service of others. It is a legacy that will be remembered for many years to come.”
UUP Councillor Richard Holmes offered condolences on behalf of his party group, paying tribute to the life of Prince Phillip. “Prince Phillip’s death leaves a hole in our nation and our Royal family and for them we pray,” he said.
SDLP group leader Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop expressed sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family. Cllr McKillop spoke of the “immensely difficult time” for them which is “compounded by the restriction which have made saying goodbye even more difficult”.
She said: “I would like to offer my sincere condolences to people across the Causeway Coast & Glens who feel a special connection with Prince Phillip and the Royal family.”
Sinn Fein group lead Leanne Peacock extended her party’s sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family. Cllr Peacock added: “We acknowledge the deep sense of loss which will be felt in our community in Causeway Coast & Glens and across these islands and those of a unionist tradition and British identity.”
Alliance Councillor Chris McCaw expressed sympathy on behalf of the party, recalling a visit of Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Phillip to Dublin. After the group leaders spoke, other councillors offered their thoughts and condolences. Independent Councillor Stephanie Quigley thanked the Mayor for all he had done as a mark of respect following the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. She offered her condolences to The Queen, the Royal family and anyone within the local community grieving over the passing of the Duke.
PUP Councillor Russell Watton added his condolences adding that Prince Phillip was “a witty man often saying things he shouldn’t, but who am I to talk”. He said: “Thank you Sir for your service and your dedication to the Queen and country.”
DUP Alderman George Duddy extended his condolences to the Queen and Royal family. He then spoke about the Queen and Prince Phillip’s visit to Coleraine in 2014 describing it as “a privilege to meet him”. “I will never forget meeting him and listening to him,” said Cllr Duddy. “I was very grateful to have the honour. He had great understanding and gave his undivided attention to everyone he met.”
As proceedings were brought to a close, council chief executive David Jackson spoke of meeting the Prince on a number of occasions. “It was my privilege to meet His Royal Highness on a number of occasions,” said
Mr Jackson. As part of his security detail in the late 1990s I accompanied him during a carriage driving event. “I was also in the helicopter with him on his historic visit to Aras an Uachtarain (Home of Irish President Mary McAleese) on November 10, 1998.” Mayor Mark Fielding thanked all the councillors for attending the special Council meeting and for offering their thoughts and condolences.