It was with great sadness that the Ballycastle community learnt of the passing of Danny McGill, a well-known and respected businessman of the area.
Danny passed away peacefully on Sunday 4 December surrounded by his close family.
He spent about a month in the Causeway Hospital before latterly being transferred to the Dalriada Hospital.
A kind, generous and popular man, Danny was born and bred in Ballycastle, a true Ballycastle man in all senses.
A keen sportsman he played football in his youth and was a stalwart of the Ballycastle Golf Club for most of his life.
Indeed few golfers of his era will ever forget his snatching the Captain’s prize from one of his close friend’s grasp in 1984 by carding the winning score in the final four-ball of that eventful day.
The headline in the local newspaper at the time aptly summed up the achievement as follows, “McGill emerges from shadows to clinch victory!”
It was a day Danny would always remember and he often pointed out that the reason he was in the final four-ball of the day was because he had completed a busy day’s work prior to teeing off.
Danny was well known throughout North Antrim for being the co-owner of McGill Bros Hairstylists. His brother Jim founded the business in 1937 and Danny, after training in Edinburgh, quickly followed him into the business as a partner. Jim and Danny soon established the salon as one of the best hairdressing businesses in Northern Ireland well remembered for their hairdressing demonstrations across the province. Sadly Jim passed away in 1979 and Danny carried on the business along with Jim’s widow Mary until his retirement in 1996. His daughter Marie took over at that time and continues to run the business today.
Danny had a great sense of community and, along with others, was instrumental in establishing the Ballycastle Gateway Club for people with learning difficulties – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.
The legacy he left with Ballycastle will not be forgotten and is well appreciated by the community.
In 1949 the two McGill brothers married two sisters in a double wedding when Danny tied the knot with Kathleen and Jim wed Kathleen’s sister Mary.
Danny and Kathleen had four children, Monica, Danny, Marie and Deirdre. Danny was never happier than when surrounded by his family and he and Kathleen celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2009 when all their family were together. Only recently Danny celebrated in 87th birthday and although in hospital at the time he enjoyed the party organised there in his honour surrounded by his extended family.
Danny was blessed with a very calm disposition, a man who was always a pleasure to converse with, and a man who made a positive impression on everyone he met. Danny was above all else a family man who had a great sense of fun, always ready with a joke and a smile, a true gentleman who will be sadly missed in the local community.
The family would like to pay tribute to the staff at both the Causeway Hospital and the Dalriada Hospital for their devotion to the care of Danny throughout his illness.